Why is autonomy important for happiness?

For kids to become happy, independent adults who can direct their own lives and feel confident in making decisions, they need to be given opportunities to be autonomous from a young age.

What does autonomy look like for kids?

Autonomy for children means having the freedom to learn and grow, to develop skills to face daily challenges, and to have chances to make their own decisions. Autonomy can be encouraged by providing opportunities for growth, and by encouraging children to see that they are capable of doing things for themselves.

Trust leads to confidence

When we show children that we trust them, they learn to trust themselves. Kids can be given opportunities to be independent and to express themselves from a very young age, with the activities then being adapted as they mature. Examples for younger children might include brushing their own hair, tying their own shoelaces, playing in the mud, picking up their own toys, having choices around mealtimes, or packing their own school bag.

How can I encourage autonomy?

Please read on…Storyberries offers free online children’s books, and parenting tips on guiding children towards autonomy and self confidence.

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Sharing Tasks at Home

Instead of doing everything for them, we can encourage our children to be helpful around the home. Once they are older, it is only fair that they help to prepare food and complete chores, boys and girls alike. 

Coping with Frustration

For children to become confident teens and adults, they need to develop patience and the ability to cope with small everyday problems. If children are allowed to face their frustration and deal with it, they learn to trust their own ability to cope in challenging situations. In this way, saying “no” at the right time, and in the right circumstances, is very beneficial. 
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Conveying Trust

To raise independent children, we need to inspire their confidence. If they have faith in us as parents or educators, they will also have faith in themselves. Children need to be genuinely appreciated, to feel confident that affection and attention are always present, and to be able to communicate their problems and needs without fear of harmful obstacles. 
Free phonics books for kids Jake and Jane Run a Race bedtime stories header

Creating Opportunities

If children are given everything very easily, they may feel less motivation to strive. Instead it is healthier for them to see life as being full of wonderful possibilities that require effort on their part. When children work hard to achieve something special, they develop lots of skills on the way and feel a much deeper sense of joy.


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Making Education a Legacy

One of the best and most satisfying legacies we can leave for our children is their education, through supporting them at school, providing them with opportunities for independent growth, and by showing them how we are also learning and growing ourselves. 

Some Free Books About Autonomy At Storyberries

Best free books at Storyberries
Bedtime stories Which Vehicles Do You Like free books for cars trucks and things that go HEADER

Which Vehicle Do You Like?

One of the best ways for kids to develop trust in their own ideas is to have a sense of their own likes and dislikes. This delightful picture book in verse allows kids to talk about which vehicles they like best!
Bedtime stories Aesops The Crow And The Water Jug free books online header illustration

The Crow and The Water Jug

When kids are encouraged to think independently, they often come up with great ideas. In this beautiful re-working of a timeless Aesop Fable, artist Sue Clancy tells the story of crow and her clever mind.
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Yes You Can!

Join a class of school kids as they explore what they’d like to do when they grow up. A brilliant book for encouraging independent thinking and growing self confidence.

Article by Luzmery M. Romero Gamboa and Fleur Rodgers

Luzmery Child Psychologist Storyberries

Luzmery works in the area of clinical psychology as a psychotherapist for children, adolescents and families. Since 2016, she has run a Psychological Center in Venezuela called Psicoluz. She offers workshop facilitations to parents, is involved in recreational activities for children, and has been working as a freelancer since 2017 performing online psychotherapy. 

Storyberries parenting portal author and mindfulness coach Fleur Rodgers

Fleur is a meditation teacher in France and uses a compassion and loving-kindness based approach to meditation and slow-minded living. Fleur posts regularly to Instagram @rodgers.fleur . She has two children, is a qualified teacher in adult education and is the founder of Timeouttobreathe.com