Helping My Child Be More Independent
Therapies and Resources for Children with Autism & Families
Are you worried that your child is too dependent on you, or looking for ways to help your child become more independent? The best way to help your child be more independent is to help him or her gain the skills of self-awareness and self-regulation. These two abilities are essential life skills. When we have self-awareness, we understand who we are and what we are doing, as well as what is going on around us. When we have self-regulation, we are able to manage our own behavior when we interact with various people, in different places and situations. If a child has these skills, he or she is secure in making choices with confidence, without dependence on a parent or guardian.
There are so many ways to encourage your child’s development in the areas of self-awareness and self-regulation. Consider these examples of questions and subsequent ways to encourage your child’s development.
- How much does your child pay attention to his surroundings, such as the behavior of a friend or family member or watching events occur? For example, if you are at the park, you may see a family eating a picnic lunch or playing on a playground. Help your child by asking questions to encourage him to pay attention, such as asking what is going on or what do you see the family doing.
- Does your child identify or describe the emotions, and intentions, of those around her? It is so important that your child gain an ability to react to and identify the emotional reactions of those around her, as this is a fundamental piece of being able to communicate. You can help your child be continually describing and modeling feelings and intentions of actions. For example, if your brother is crying after you took away his toy, what does that mean?
In those times where you feel like your child is struggling to become independent, keep in mind that there are circumstantial factors that could be affecting your child’s behavior. For example, your child might be feeling stressed or overwhelmed, or you may simply be introducing too many questions at once. Patience and continuing practice will be so important on your child’s journey to independence.
The caring team at Peak Potential Therapy can aid you in helping your child become more independent. We have a number of services, such as our social skills groups and interactive camp experiences, that will help your child develop essential skills that contribute to self-awareness and self-regulation. Give us a call today to schedule an initial consultation.