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Making your Five-Year Old More Independent

Making your Five-Year Old More Independent

As your tiny tot turns five you start noticing that he has a penchant for doing things on his own. For instance he will want to dress on his own, bathe on his own and also try out other things on his own. My experience tells me that we as parents should encourage this rather than curb it by saying “oh he is wasting soap”, or “he is spilling food” or whatever else you may say. But then it is also a fact that kids living in a joint family are a pampered lot, as there is always someone or the other to help your child do the stuff. If possible discourage that habit because that will only shake his confidence in himself. So here are few things that I did to make my five year old a little bit more responsible, and independent.

1. Let him take decisions

You may think that he is too young to take his own decisions but believe me this is the right age to start encouraging him to take his own decisions. The decisions can be related to anything; for instance if he wants to go out in the sun don’t stop him and let him go and he himself will realise that it’s hot outside and thus staying indoors is a much better option. Similarly if he insists on wearing his favourite jeans that don’t fit him anymore or are a little tight, I let him wear it and after few minutes or hours he will come to me and say “momma give me another pair jeans this is really tight and I am not comfortable”. If I had said that it doesn’t fit you he would have worn it till the end of the day only to prove to me that it does fit fine. Anyway the basic thing here is to let him take the lead and make his own decisions.

Also read: Respecting your Child’s Choices


2. Involve him in simple tasks

Your five year old is by nature a curious kid so let him explore and ask questions if he sees you doing something different or interesting. For instance when you are cooking and he wants to stir in the veggies (believe me there was a point when he wanted to stir the ladle or roll out chapattis) ask him to help you out in other ways – like laying out the table, taking the required cutlery to the table, or even taking the water to the table – where you all will be dining. As for rolling the chapattis I let him roll his chapattis, which made him really excited at meal time.


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Swati Nitin Gupta is a journalist with extensive experience in writing for newspapers, tabloids, magazines and online media in India as well as Middle East. She has written on a range of topics, from human interest stories to event coverage to features on topics like fashion, beauty, women, children, travel and general health issues. As an Indian Army officer's daughter, Swati has been been exposed to the various cultures and lifestyles of different states of the country – knowledge of which she tries to incorporate in her writing. Swati also maintains her personal blogs at swatisays.wordpress.com and swati1012.wordpress.com.

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