How Do I Help My Kids Become More Independent Again?

A mom writes in asking for advice about her kids and their independence. She says her two kids were once fairly independent, but since being home with them 24/7 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, she has noticed that they have both become codependent and “unsure of everything.” She wants to know how to help them get back to their more independent selves.

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A member of the community asks:

“How can I make sure my kids stay independent?

Anonymous, please. I am a single mom and a restaurant worker that is currently laid off due to COVID-19. I have 2 babies (4 and 17 months… or 1 for those that don’t go by months).

I find myself getting frustrated especially because I am with them 24/7, which is causing them to be very codependent. Before all of this started, they were very independent and very aware of what they wanted, when they wanted it, and now they are so unsure of everything. Point is, how do I help my kids get back to themselves?”

– Mamas Uncut Community Member

Community Advice for This Mom Who Wants Her Kids to Be More Independent

To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.

Fan QuestionHow can I make sure my kids stay independent?Anonymous please. I am a single mom and a restaurant worker…

Posted by Mamas Uncut on Monday, May 25, 2020

Advice Summary

How Do I Help My Kids Become More Independent Again?

The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.

“4 and a year old? Lord woman, get over yourself. They love their mama, they need your attention. Stop complaining. Be thankful you can be home with your babies. I’ve worked every day during quarantine. I can’t be home with my kids. Reevaluate your priorities.”

“Don’t listen to all the negative bi***y comments. I understand where you are coming from; this quarantine has been rough on most. Just the fact that you want to teach them independence means you’re on the right path. My kids are teens and tweens so I also understand why the other moms were a bit harsh with you. The time will fly by so enjoy when they’re young because it’s fleeting.”

“Use this time to give them lots of attention. Work on their development, do colors or numbers, they want their mama and that’s great. 1-year-olds are far from independent. My daughter has been more clingy to me too, but it’s okay. I usually work long days so to be working from home is amazing for me and her…”

“I have a 4 and 2-year-old and I too am at home with them 24/7. I find that if you show them how to do things themselves and praise them highly for it, then they are more likely to try and take on that task more independently next time. I have a 9-year-old as well, and with remote learning, household chores, and everything else the average woman has to do in a day, it can very taxing. Apparently some people don’t understand this. Just teach, praise, and keep your head up, mama. Things will get better as they grow older if you show them the way.”

“It’s definitely their age. You are the center of their universe right now. Embrace it. They will be wanting to hang with their friends soon enough. And then they only grow further independent from there. Embrace it.”

“The change in routine will cause people, including kids, to act differently. I’d try to keep their routine as normal as possible while also remembering that they may be scared and/or confused and require extra help, attention, and reassurance.”

“I definitely understand what you mean. Change of routine is hard for anyone. YES, they are babies and need your attention but it’s not wrong to also teach them to be independent. Like picking up their toys, brushing their hair/teeth, getting dressed on their own (4 year old), etc…


… My 15-month-old can clean her toys, wipe down the table, clean up after herself if she spills something, brush her teeth and hair and she will throw trash in the trash can. Does she do any of these things perfect? No. Do I have to go over what she did myself? Yes. But she wants to help…

… She wants to be independent. She saw me do these things a bunch so she wants to help mommy. That’s a good thing. I cuddle her and play with her as much as she lets me. She gets plenty of attention. Just because she’s a baby doesn’t mean I can’t teach her to be independent on some things and allow her to be codependent on others.

You can teach your kid independence and still treat them like a kid. Whatever your child was doing before all this, still have them do. If your kids were picking up their toys, make them pick up their toys. If your 4-year-old was helping you clean up, keep making her help you. Do not let them rely on you for things they KNOW how to do. Encourage them. Praise them.

Parenting is hard normally. Parenting through quarantine is 10000% more challenging.”

Do you have any advice for this mom? Leave a comment to help another mom out!

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