Pitt County Schools Independence Day is Monday, September 23. This is the day that all students are expected to walk to class without their parents or caregivers. It can be a tough day for some parents, but it is also a great day to celebrate your child’s successful transition to independence! While this day applies primarily to elementary school students, it is a great time to think about how we can encourage students of all ages to be a bit more independent. See some great suggestions below!

  1. Establish Routines

Repetition is important for children, and when they do something consistently or as a daily routine, they will memorize the steps and feel more comfortable doing it on their own.

  1. Give them alone time/set up an easy-access environment

Small periods of separation are healthy for your child (and you as a parent!) and will make them more comfortable with being independent. Try a Storage System/command hooks/magnetic strips for your kids to have easy access to toys without help!

  1. Set clear responsibilities

Responsibilities that will make your children more independent will include dressing themselves, cleaning up their toys, and even making certain foods all by themselves.

  1. Put them in charge of their laundry 

Hang up an organizer over the door or in their closet so that they can have their outfits already set each morning. Have a designated spot for them to put clothes each night. Older elementary school students can even begin folding and putting away laundry by themselves. Take a laundry break, parents…the kids have got this!

  1. Let the self-feeding begin

Keep a low drawer in the kitchen where kids can access their own plates, spoons and cups so they can participate as much as possible. If they can reach the dishes, it becomes easy to do other tasks too, like set the table or empty the dishwasher.

  1. Don’t overschedule 

Boredom is important — that’s when kids get creative and discover what they want to do. Boredom can be a magic key to independence.