Teaching Your Kids to be Independent

Kevin Gardner

Often, kids growing up in the current generation are said to be too dependent on their parents, or they’re independent to the extreme. There aren’t many cases that show kids growing up to be the perfect blend of dependent and independent. What this does is create a society where people don’t believe that they need to go and get an education and that they don’t need a job to live. Instead, they feed off of their parents for as long as possible while they sit in the basement playing Fortnite. When it comes to being independent, there’s a fine line that parents need to teach their kids about. You need to start teaching them these things when they’re young so that they can learn how to not only survive in the real world, but thrive. Here are 5 ways that you can teach your kids to be the perfect amount of independent.

1. Don’t Give Out Free Allowances

When your kids are young, they rely on you for everything--and that’s how it should be. When a child is between the ages of 1 and 10, you shouldn’t expect them to do much of anything on their own. This is a period where complete reliance on you is encouraged. During the first 10 years, you establish your role as parent, caretaker, and teacher where your kids get a positive view of families and parenthood. After they’ve turned 10, you can start giving them an allowance to spend money on things that they need.

However, a mistake that a lot of parents make is that they give out the allowance for free. Or, they give it out to their children who are helping with chores that they should already be doing. Never give your child money after they cleaned their room because that should be an expectation, rather than optional. If you give them an allowance after they have gone above and beyond to take care of things that aren’t required of them, they will learn the importance of work. For example, you can give your child an allowance after they clear out the brush in the backyard, mow the lawn, paint and repair a fence, or other jobs that aren’t required to keep the house running. You want them to learn to do the dishes without a reward so that they can grow up to clean their own homes without expected an award for it.

2. Get Them Credit Cards Early

This might sound like a bad idea at first since you shouldn’t give a credit card to a 10-year-old child. And that’s right. You shouldn’t give them the credit card, but you should get them one. Having a good credit score is vital for this generation. A good credit score gets you some of the best online loans for cars, houses, a college education, and anything else that you need when you start “adulting.” Having a poor credit score start you behind the crowd rather than in front.

Every parent wants their child to do better than they did and giving them a good credit score is one of the things that you can do to give them a headstart in life. Credit card companies look at a few things when they are determining your score, and the length that you’ve had the card is one of the determining factors. You can help your kids to get a great score by getting them a credit card and then hiding it or chopping it up so that it won’t be used. The important thing is that the account is open for a prolonged period of time.

3. Never Lie to Your Children

If you’ve ever read To Kill a Mockingbird, you should have learned this lesson: it does no good to lie to your kids. If they ask a sensitive question, don’t hide the truth from them. Hiding the truth only forces them to look elsewhere, or it makes them grow up in a world that they don’t fully understand. Help them to understand their world by explaining things in a mature way so that they can grow up thinking about sensitive topics in a mature way.

Your kids will grow up to be independent if you teach them right. Start them off on the right foot by being honest to them, even about things that you don’t think they’ll understand yet. Kids have amazing minds that are incredibly malleable. Teach them to fold their minds in ways that will help them rather than hold them back.