How Your Child May See Things:
‘It’s too hard to do it by myself. My parents can help me.’
Helping your child learn to do things on their own -like, finishing their homework or packing their schoolbag.
How You Get There:
Start by letting your child know that their level of
independence affects how other people see them.
When they’re independent in skills expected for their age,
they make a good impression; especially with other children.
That’s Social Understanding!
Provide Social Information:
Encourage them to think about how being independent affects them in real life.
Highlight that independence means freedom. In the beginning, it’s freedom from
being told what to do all the time.
Later on, it’s freedom to do things they want to.
Being independent makes them look good so they feel good too.
Check out the poster and highlight all the good things that come from being more independent.
Focus on the positive impression that being independent creates.
It may be useful to encourage your child to think about 1 or 2 children who have
good independent skills; that they think well of.
Encourage your child to think about what they’ve read in the poster by
asking the following questions; and engage them in discussion.
What did Emma think about Sam’s knowledge of cool places?
What did Mum think and say about Emmanuel taking charge of his own things?
Encourage your child to think about how independent they are for their age – at home,
at school and outside.
Explain that knowing themselves better helps them know what to work on
so they look good.
Let your child rate themselves first before you give your feedback and adjust their perspective.
This gives you a clearer picture of how self-aware they are in this area.
What You Do:
First, make a list of a few independence skills expected for your child’s age (e.g. bathing, homework.)
Then think about 1 thing your child can work on; preferably something they’re already doing some of the time
without any reminders.
Explain to your child:
‘We’re going to write down your skill and work on it for the next 7 days.
At the end of each day, you gain a point when you do your skill without anyone reminding you.
Let’s make this something you do totally by yourself!’
Highlight to your child that when they’re independent, they have a lot more freedom; and look good to others.
Support your child by providing them with visual structure and supports. These can facilitate them
towards engaging in the skill without constant reminders.
Check Out Our Guide:
Consider a reward to motivate your child to succeed. Focus on time for a preferred activity
(extra computer time) rather than on buying things they want.
The reward should be linked to your child engaging in the
skill without reminders 80% of the time; approximately 5 to 6 days out of a 7-day period.
The skill may need to be broken down into smaller steps with each step being worked on as
an individual goal.
It is critical that you help your child achieve a successful outcome in their first attempt at being
The time frame for establishing the skill and the types of rewards will vary.