Ways to Foster Independence in Your Kids

As your child’s motor and thinking skills develop, they begin to want to do more for themselves. Whether your child is more on the introverted side or extroverted side, it is essential for them to develop their independence. Thus, providing opportunities for your child to be independent is key.

Here Are 5 Ways to Support Toddler Independence:

1. Give your child time to do simple tasks on their own – putting on shoes, carrying their own lunch box, emptying their backpack, and helping with chores like putting clean laundry into drawers. Even though it may take longer for your toddler to do these tasks opposed to you doing them, encourage your child and make them feel comfortable and capable of doing these simple things.

2. Offering your child choices is a great way to encourage early independence. Letting your child choose between two shirts, having them pick out pajamas, allowing them to choose between two snacks or two toys gives them a sense of “I can do it.”

3. Starting a task and letting your child complete the next one is another great way to support your child’s early independence. For example, loosening your child’s shoes and then letting him/her pull the shoes off or pulling your child’s arms out of the sleeves then letting them pull it over their head themselves. Doing a challenging task together is another great way to foster independence in your kid. Tasks like cracking eggs into a bowl at breakfast and having your child whisk the eggs or having them help set the table are great ways to show independence.

toddler girl tying shoes

4. Many parents feel they need to entertain their kids 24/7 in order for them to learn, explore and grow. However, this is not the case. Encouraging your children to play on their own will help them understand how to learn to develop independent skills. Providing your children with a variety of toys and play materials will allow them to explore their interests and inquisitive minds at the same time.

toddler boy playing little league

5. Getting your child involved in organized sports, boy scouts, or girl scouts is another great way to foster independence in your kid. When independence grows, a child’s confidence also grows. As they take on new skills and responsibilities, they begin to see themselves as being capable.

Independence Matters in Early Childhood

Developing independence promotes self-confidence and self-efficacy. Therefore, letting your young child do little things for themselves with your supervision helps reduce the inevitable power struggles of toddlerhood. When involving them in a task, it is essential that you remain close and attentive so that you can offer assistance and encouragement if needed.

Remember to praise your child for their independence. Whether your child got themselves ready for bed all on their own or they helped put their clothes away in the draw, praise your child for the progress. When parents keep track of the efforts and outcomes, these simple tasks add up, showing your child that you have faith in their abilities and allowing them to develop their independence.

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