Helping Your Toddler to be Independent 

Toddler children are fast learners and grow up fast. This is an important stage of development when you can help your toddler develop his/her independent skills daily and see results blossom constantly.  That means that as a parent or a care giver, we should let the children do things with less help from an adult.   This is a period of time where you are giving your toddler the opportunity to develop and know how to do things on their own. 

For toddler parents, your start will be with simple tasks in your child’s daily routine, such as letting your child put on and take off their shoe by themselves. Helping your toddler Learn to put their belongings in their proper place where they belong. Have a place for everything. Everything your toddler owns should have it own spot and easy to store away.  Letting your toddler spoon-feed them self.  You are his/her first teachers always sit down when eating.  Take your child to wash and dry hands, observe and only comment if help is needed, such as put soap on and rub hands together.   Guide and help in putting on and taking off clothes with little guidance, teach how to fold clothes and pick up toys after play.  

Development happens when your toddler is given choices.  When planning clothes for next day.  Ask your child which shirt he would like to wear to school from a choice of two options.  Children are often told what to do too often.  They need to feel in control of things that they are experiencing daily.  Choices lead to developing independence and building self-esteem or confidence which leads to becoming a confident child.  

It is important to give your child time and be patient when helping your child while he/she is developing any self help skill. In many cases an adult might feel that it is faster to help a child with a task then having to wait for the child finish with the task.  It is true that you can do a better job with faster results.  However, by giving your toddler an opportunity to work on developing a self-help skill , your toddler will experience growth and development and learn to think how to do things which will boost his/her self-esteem.   If your child does need help, be there to help and still make him/her feel they accomplished as much as they could.  Always speak positive words to your child when your child is performing a self help skill task and encourage your child and phrase him/her for doing things with little or no help from an adult. 

Enjoy watching your child progress in his independent development!