Empowering Children to be More Independent

Many parents, like you, aim to instill a sense of responsibility in their 9-year-olds, encouraging them to initiate chores, manage homework, and follow bedtime routines without constant reminders. This becomes especially vital when juggling the needs of younger siblings. Despite previous attempts, your child may express a lack of motivation, attributing forgetfulness and distractions from play. In this article, we’ll explore effective strategies for empowering children to be more independent, making the process both engaging and successful.

2 Key Things that can Encourage your Daughter to be more Helpful:

1. Set up self-motivating routines that can help do the prompting for you. 

Set up self-motivating routines that can help do the prompting for you.  They are most often phrased with a “When….Then…” or “As soon as….Then…”  The more consistent these agreements are, the more self-motivating they are.  So strive for something that can be fairly consistent every day.  For example:

  • Homework
    “After school, as soon as your homework is done, then you can play with the neighbors.” “When you finish your homework, you can get on the iPad.”
  • Bedtime
    “I’m gonna set a time – and if you have your jobs done before it goes off, you are welcome to use that time for playing, if you use the whole time to get yourself ready – that’s fine too.”
  • Chores
    “When your 3 weekend chores are done, then you can play with friends/get on tech/ride bikes.”

Then if you see your child playing without having their jobs done, you can simply say, “What was our agreement about that?

2. Involve the child in the agreement

As you see the options above, I recommend sitting down with your child outside of the challenging moment, to say, “Bedtime/Chores/Homework has been a bit of a challenge recently.  I know you don’t like me reminding and nagging, and I don’t like it either.  What can we agree on that could be something that works out so you do what you need to do, before you do what you wanna do?  Otherwise, I only have the option of taking away some of the time you get to do the things you wanna do.


If you’d like more personalized guidance, contact Flora today.

Click here to view the full article in Montana Parent Magazine

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