Solving problems yourself is a key part of the Lifehacker ethos, and it's an attitude you can inculcate in kids at an early age. Our sibling site Babble has a handy list of tactics for helping young kids develop their own sense of independence.
The tips range from the purely practical (using swimming goggles to prevent shampoo tears) to the outright fun (how to build your own fort). I especially liked this tip for dealing with disgusting medicine:
Having your child suck on an iceblock or ice cube before taking the big, bad gulp will numb the taste buds long enough to get the medicine down.
Got your own independence-enhancing trick for your kids? Share it in the comments.
The Babble Do-It-Myself Guide [Babble]