How to encourage our children to be more independent

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

When would you let your child take public transport by him/herself?

Primary 1
1
1%
Primary 2
0
No votes
Primary 3
10
14%
Primary 4
18
26%
Primary 5
11
16%
Primary 6
7
10%
Secondary School
23
33%
When he/she is taller than I am
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 70

How to encourage our children to be more independent

Postby Luvkid » Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:09 am

Original Title: Making Our Children More Independent

Should i post this here?

Well, anyone of u have ever thought of WHEN (at what age) to "let go" yr kid, in a way to teach them to be independent? Like letting them to walk back home from school, or letting them take public transport by themselves, or even send them to run errands like buying things/food from the neighbourhood? I have been "training" ds to do one of it-buying things/food from the neighbourhood. For the past incidents, i will watch him from 11th floor (we r staying in a HDB flats), to make sure he cross the road with care;make sure he came back from the store untill he reached home safely, there was 1 or 2 incidents, he will even have to look after ds2 when they went downstairs together to get some stuffs from the "ma ma" shop or car. (just directly downstairs, no crossing road is required). They took quite a while until i got worried and rushed to the lift lobby to wait for them. Once the lift door open, i thot i was missing them so much. Only then i learnt that they went down by stairs. :!: DS2 is like taking 2 steps to 1 stair. So both of them took long to reach the destination. from 11th floor to ground floor :sweat: My heart was like jumping out then, what if 1 of them off balance and trip & fall :cry:

This afternoon, I sent DS1 alone to get lunch. Lazy to cook for the 2 of them. Asked him to get a pack of fishball noodles at $2.50. Gave him almost exact amount with extra 20 cts, just in case he dropped the coin. He came home empty handed and asked me where is the $2 note. Believe he must have dopped it. So gave him a scolding first before giving him another note and sent him down again as he had already placed order. He apologised to me guiltyly. Can imagine he must be real panicked infront of the stall holder. Poor thing of him, rushed back to find the $2 note and rushed down to get his order again.... He was sweating till like.......I might have wanted to go,but come to think of it, let him settle his own "business". when he came back the 2nd round, I asked him hv he learnt any lesson. Glad that he said YES. And again apologised to me.....

So, WHEN will be the best for us to "let go" of our kids??

Luvkid
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Postby daisyt » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:04 am

Hi Luvkid, how old is your ds1 and ds2 ?

For my case, I started asking dd to run errand, buy her own lunch, take MRT and bus home from school, at around P6 time. Once, she had a frightening experience in the lift. A sec school boy sweet talked to her and asked if he could hug her. Fortunately, nothing much happen. After that incident, I asked from the neighbourhood police post for the "siren alarm" device so that she could put one in her bag and use it when emergency.

daisyt
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Postby kuzco » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:21 am

I allowed my son to take a bus home from the studentcare centre in the latter part of the year when he was in P4 two years ago. The centre is 3 stops away from our home and no need to cross any major road. When I found that he was ok with that, I gradually allowed him to walk to his tuition centre himself in P5, and allowed him and his classmates to watch movies at a nearby cinema by themselves this year. But the one thing that I stress over and over again is to cross any road carefully, even at pedestrians crossings.

kuzco
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Postby EN » Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:48 pm

Well, anyone of u have ever thought of WHEN (at what age) to "let go" yr kid, in a way to teach them to be independent?


JMHO. I will let go my child to be independent when the child is ready. It does not depend on the child age but how is the child reaction in terms of emergency to unknown situation.

At the start, my children then age 5 and 7 were asked to buy their own sundae/drinks at Mac Donald. I am standing a few metres away and will only step in when required. It will then move slowly to buying groceries that I have forgotten to purchase from the supermarket and they will go down to the provision shop to assist. At the start, they both go together. Now that they are 8 and 10 years old, they are confident enough to go on their own.

Both of my kids are matured in thinking. This year, my daughter has started to take public bus to go back from school on her own. I taught her to speak out or walk to the bus driver to seek for help if there are unwanted advances from strangers in the bus. I taught her in the event she falls asleep and miss the bus stop, please cross the road using traffic light or travel to the bus interchange and take the same bus number home (give me a buzz to inform me that she will be late).

Both my kids stays at home on their own for an hour or two. They will clear up their own plates, clean up the dining table after lunch and proceed to either do homework or sleep if they are tired. No ones at home. Ever there's an emergency, they call me up to come back home without panicking and the my daughter reassure my son, that both myself and husband will be coming back to help.

This year, they started washing their own school shoes. I was worried of the slippery floor. Told them step by step of the process, after a few supervision, they are able to do it on their own.

DS was lost in library, not able to find me. Since I have once help a lost child and bring the child to information counter for assistance, ds simply walk to the information counter in the library asking for help to call me up.

EN
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Postby sleepy » Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:54 pm

daisyt wrote: Once, she had a frightening experience in the lift. A sec school boy sweet talked to her and asked if he could hug her. Fortunately, nothing much happen. After that incident, I asked from the neighbourhood police post for the "siren alarm" device so that she could put one in her bag and use it when emergency.


gosh! that's a scary expereince! Fortunately your girl is alert


Luvkid wrote:So, WHEN will be the best for us to "let go" of our kids??


I told my girls I'm going to fetch them from school even when they are taller than me :wink:

sleepy
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Postby schellen » Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:36 pm

DD is now 7. She likes to be more independent but at the same time, she will also doubt herself so we just go with the flow.
1. When she requests to buy stuff or redeem stuff (at the arcade), we will pass her the money or card and queue up with her. She is to take the initiative to make the purchase or redemption herself and we only step in when she forgets a step. Currently, she likes this arrangement as she knows we are still there even when she is the one "in-charge".
2. When we are in malls/library/indoors and she needs to go to the toilet, we will show her the way and either wait for her just outside the corridor leading to the toilets or continue shopping/browsing but let her know where she can find us when she's done. She is only comfortable doing this if we are on the same floor as her or if she is very familiar with the environment. (If she takes too long, one of us will go looking for her to see if she needs help.)
3. I have told her before what to do if she gets lost in a mall. She will either approach the information counter, a security guard or a shopowner for help, preferably a female, since she is more comfortable approaching them.
4. She actually knows how to take the feeder bus from the interchange back home. She also knows which lift to take. However, I don't think she feels confident enough to get home on her own yet. I think I told her before when she was much younger, that if she gets lost outside and can find a police officer to help her, she can show the officer the way home even if she cannot remember the address or telephone number.

My parents (especially my dad) were over-protective so I never got to experience all this until P5 or P6, when my mom instructed the maid to bring me to the bus stop to take the bus to school for activities after school or on holidays. (I always took the school bus and the bus stop was a long distance away from home.) I was suddenly expected to be independent in P6 when my mom didn't want a maid anymore so the sudden change in expectations forced me to adapt quickly. From that year onwards, I was also expected to look after my sister (she's 6 years younger) and send her to and from school as well. I think if I were to drop all these responsibilities and "demand" independence from my DD suddenly, the success rate would not be high. Therefore, I believe that it is best to observe her and provide such "opportunities" when we/she feels she is ready for them.

schellen
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Postby tamarind » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:55 pm

sleepy wrote:I told my girls I'm going to fetch them from school even when they are taller than me :wink:


Me too ! :wink: As much as I want my kids to be independent, there are too many psychotic criminals around who prey on kids.

Whenever I bring them out, I like to ask them to "bring me home". I follow behind them to see if they know which way to walk home. Both my kids know how to walk home from the nearest MRT station since a very young age. I also plan to teach them how to go home from anywhere in Singapore. So long as I know they can do it, that is good enough for me.

tamarind
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Postby jedamum » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:33 pm

my P1 is getting food at the food court on his own if he can manage; many times, i have to chase after ds2, so i'll shoved the amount in his hands, ask him to queue up and wait for me beside the stall when he is done.


schellen wrote:I think I told her before when she was much younger, that if she gets lost outside and can find a police officer to help her, she can show the officer the way home even if she cannot remember the address or telephone number.


there aren't many police officer around when you really need them, so i usually tell my ds1 that if he is lost, he should
1. look for information counter if he is in a mall
2. look for a 'mummy stranger' for help; a 'mummy' ie ladies with kids in toll, cos they can sympathise with the lost kid and is less likely to be a pervert cos is female
3. tell the mummy stranger to call me, NOT borrow the phone from the mummy stranger cos if she thinks that he will run away with the phone, no one will help him.

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Postby GreenQ » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:44 pm

tamarind wrote:Whenever I bring them out, I like to ask them to "bring me home". I follow behind them to see if they know which way to walk home.


Yes, I do it too! :) Recently I noticed my kids (5yo) know how to walk to bus interchange from library as I have asked them to bring me home and followed behind them for few times. And then take which bus home and alight at which bus stop.

Glad that they slowly learn to be independence. I always point and ask them to remember diff buildings, block numbers and read those road names too whenever I bring them out. Hopefully they will have better direction sense.

GreenQ
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Postby watmekiasu » Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:14 am

there aren't many police officer around when you really need them, so i usually tell my ds1 that if he is lost, he should
1. look for information counter if he is in a mall
2. look for a 'mummy stranger' for help; a 'mummy' ie ladies with kids in toll, cos they can sympathise with the lost kid and is less likely to be a pervert cos is female
3. tell the mummy stranger to call me, NOT borrow the phone from the mummy stranger cos if she thinks that he will run away with the phone, no one will help him.


I did exactly the same thing with my dd except that the stranger need not be a mummy stranger but any older looking female will do. I guess many parents teach their kids similar things cos I'd been approached by 2 "lost" kids so far and both asked to call their mummy.

watmekiasu
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