Letting Go: Instilling Independence in Young Children

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
– Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American poet and philosopher

An instrumental part of parenting involves inculcating necessary life skills in children that will let them evolve and grow into mature and successful adults. Often topping this list of skills is self-independence. But how can parents maintain an optimal balance between holding on too tightly and letting go too fast? How will we know when to step back to give our children room to grow?

You might be surprised to find out that your children can learn to be independent from the tender age of two, as soon as they can understand simple directions. By incorporating age-appropriate household chores, such as picking up after playing, helping with laundry, cleaning or setting the table, into your children’s daily routine, they acquire a sense of responsibility while enjoying being active contributors to the home.

Likewise, when they are old enough to be part of a school community, they will learn to take ownership of their day-to-day activities inside and outside the classroom and gain the skills needed to excel academically, socially and personally.

A child’s growth in confidence and self-sufficiency should continue to ramp up as they journey through their schooling years. During this time, school will play an increasingly greater role in facilitating this, providing an environment that is conducive for them to dip their toe into the waters of independence. Often, boarding school is seen as a viable choice in providing children with a great foundation in this area.

Shattuck-St. Mary’s Forest City International School, the global campus of top American boarding school Shattuck-St. Mary’s School, brings a 160-year legacy of educational expertise and modern boarding facilities to offer children in Malaysia and around the region an exceptional boarding experience. Here, your children will learn to soar while under the watchful eyes and guidance of their dorm parents.

Among others, they will learn essential life skills, like doing their own laundry, and how to manage their time fruitfully. They will also be able to bond with friends from all over the world and acquire practical socialization and reasoning skills in the process. Meanwhile, parents can keep abreast of their children’s latest progress and development via the school’s intranet.

In addition to providing rigorous academics with a strong focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) and athletics, the school also employs various teaching methodologies aimed at developing the children’s potential further as they grow into capable, self-reliant individuals who are ready for the challenges of the 21st Century.

The younger learners will enjoy Circle Time, Morning Meetings and Advisory Time, where they hone their verbal and communication skills, and obtain more personalized attention from their teachers. As they move up to higher grades, they will have the opportunity to participate in more activities that encourage experiential learning, including field trips and volunteer opportunities. Shattuck-St. Mary’s School’s acclaimed ScholarShift® program wills subsequently be introduced to high school students, providing a platform for them to acquire the necessary skills to thrive in college and beyond.

With an RM1 billion campus and highly experienced academic leaders from the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, Shattuck-St. Mary’s Forest City International School features a vibrant learning environment for learners from pre-kindergarten through to high school. The school is set to welcome its first intake of students in August 2018. Interested families are welcome to visit the campus during its Open Days, which will be held every Saturday beginning June 23, 2018.

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