Read what parents are saying when they answered this month's PARENT INPUT question on Washington Parent's Facebook page.

How do you teach your kids to be more independent?

  • Our girls have checklists that they have to complete. This gives them the responsibility of completing tasks and homework at their own pace. It also allows them the opportunity to choose how and when they get the list done. If the list doesn't get done when something comes up, they also learn about opportunity cost. - Kristin D-S

  • I recently signed my son up for a cooking class, age appropriate of course. He's been helping me cook since he was 2 years old, but I thought a more structured approach would be a nice change. - Antonette C-S

  • Stop doing things for them. - Christine S-N

  • Little things such as asking my son to make his own breakfast, get his own snack plate, giving him money to purchase a pretzel by himself in the mall. It all gives him a sense of independence and confidence. - Rebecca S.

  • From the very beginning, we haven't given them much assistance on the playground. If they need a spotter for the rock wall or monkey bars we were there, but otherwise we let their own physical abilities and confidence guide their play. When they succeed, they know they did it on their own. More recently, showing them how to make their own breakfast (at 4 and 6 years old) was huge. It's such a little thing, but you could immediately see them feeling more confident and independent. - Corrie S.

  • By encouraging them to experiment with things, even if things don't turn out well. If I continue to cut meats, remind of homework assignments, or zip up coats (as easy as it is for me to do), my daughters learn nothing. I let them be, let them know what they need to do, and press them to do it. The results are not always great, but I'm not looking for great results - I'm looking for learning experiences. - Amanda S.

Parents helping Parents! Through our monthly "Parent Input" question, you can share your tips, ideas, what's working, what's not and help others on their parenthood path! Go to the Washington Parent's Facebook page HERE to provide your input!.