The Very Best Trick To Raise Independent Kids

It’s 7:30 am. I hear one of my kids racing up the stairs…

Mom, I cleaned my room, brushed my teeth, and did my school stuff. What’s my chore?!”

This is a normal morning for us now. Am I dreaming?!?! Could my kids really be that independent?!

How to raise independent kids

My goodness, a lot has changed in just a year.


I was worried that when my third child came, I would be overwhelmed with taking care of three small children. So, well before her birth, I set out to make my older two more self-reliant.

I stumbled upon the perfect secret. No surprise coming from me…a checklist. One that tells my kids what they need to do without me telling them five thousand times.

Here are our checklists in action…

morning routine before school checklists




1. The most surprising thing? They love them!

Why would they?!

Well, it gives them purpose and makes them feel accomplished at the end of the day. My 7-year-old even shared that he’s thankful for them. Um, what?!

2. It’s SO MUCH easier on mama

Now, they help around the house more and I’m not spending my time doing things for them that they can easily do themselves.

3. It eliminates boredom

Thankfully, when we are sitting around for yet another snow day or during a school break, they still have something to do without asking me or telling me that they are bored.

4. It promotes our values

It has enabled us to focus on activities that we value as a family like exercise and learning.

5. It’s built in money management

And finally, it’s an easy way to do allowance so that we can begin teaching them how to manage their money. They still remind me to give it to them a thousand times, but at least it’s an easy way to keep track of it!


In the beginning, I just put some simple morning routine items on the list. We were doing these things together, but I needed them to be able to do them alone as well.

So clothes, breakfast, brush teeth, and make bed went on the list. The kids were already doing a household chore daily through our chore chart weekly template, so I added that on as well. Those items were plenty at the start.

The Advanced Versions

Over time, the list has slowly grown more extensive. Lunch, homework, and other tasks have been added. We still help them with some items, but the difference is that they are their responsibility.


IF the kids finish their checklists for the day, they are rewarded with several things. Remember, you can choose whatever works for you! Choose from these awesome cheap kids rewards!

Or, my children enjoy…


When 7:00 pm rolls around, if they have everything done, they enjoy screen time before bed. (During the school year, we make this weekend screens).


My kids earn 50 cents per day that all tasks are completed.


We struggled from time to time in the first few weeks of implementing this. I was expecting more from them, and I was having to put more effort in to teach them how to be independent.

So, we were all a little frustrated. But I decided to stick it out and stay consistent. And, I am so glad I did. Short term sacrifice for long term gains! Just like potty training! Though, thank goodness, less messy at least!


Now, when the weather is nice they usually play outside in the evenings. The list doesn’t always get done, and I don’t mind. I love that they are outside!

On those days, I just make sure that the necessary is done. We also don’t worry so much about them on weekends, as we are usually busy! You must find the balance that works for you.


I hope you love these checklists as much as we do! As my kids get older, I’m realizing that the systems we use matter a lot with how healthy and happy we are as a family!

In the summer (and during quarantine), this baby saves my sanity! The kids must complete it before screens or playing with the neighbors. So, at least I know they get clothes on and brush their teeth every day!

Sign up to pick up your kids checklist!

kids daily schedule template

*Or go HERE for an entire kids routine pack >>

What do you do with your kids to make them more independent? I’d love to know!

*For another awesome printable, see this free kids bathroom cleaning checklist!

Further Resources For Helping Kids Be More Independent:

“The Clipboard System” – This is a very similar system (with blank printables!) and the reason I started using clipboards and hanging our checklists up!

“Teach Your Children Ten Life Skills Before They Are Twelve”

“Ready For Independent Kids? 10 Totally Awesome Tricks You Have To Try”


Other Family Posts You May Enjoy…


  1. We finally implemented the checklist yesterday along with their first allowance. They are pretty excited to get started and so are we! Thanks for sharing this as we were struggling a little bit putting together a plan.

    1. Yay! Let me know how it goes! They have made our lives so much easier! Plus, who doesn’t love money?!

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