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Raising Independent Children

Since my little guy was about 4 months old, he has always been determined to try and do things on his own. He would roll all over the house because he didn’t know how to crawl yet, just to get to me. When he was one, he would watch close behind us to figure how we did things and how he could do them as well. This became an issue with baby proofing the house. He was quickly learning how to remove the gadgets or use them properly.

He has always been a strong willed child.

We had to get creative but in another way we wanted to embrace his independent nature. So, we decided to create an independent environment for him. I found it to be very helpful to have him learn to do tasks for himself. We did not want him doing things with the risk of potential danger but to learn to do the normal day to day activities on his own. We found this to not only be helpful but very rewarding for our child and ourselves as well.

To create an independent house for our toddler, we made objects accessible to him and at his level. We created a drawer towards the bottom with all his dishes, cups, and utensils. We put healthy snacks in the bottom shelves of the refrigerator and the pantry. We made most of his items he needed daily, accessible for his reach. We also made sure to instill confidence in him to tackle these day to day activities and let him know that we were proud of him when he accomplished them. We helped him when he needed it but when he was able to do it all on his own, he was very happy to let us know he did not need us.

Now, as he learned the day to day activities as a toddler, we began to incorporate chores and responsibilities for him. These activities included helping clean up, not just his toys but things that were not in their place. We taught him to sweep and mop with his own size “toy” accessories along with us. Eventually, this led him to use the standard size as he grew older and bigger. He knew how to wipe down the table or his messy areas after he played. He can clean the cabinets and wash down the sinks in the restrooms. Now, at five, he is able to help me wash dishes and really help with a lot more responsibility throughout the entire home. We also purchased a chart from Amazon that helped remind him to keep track of his day to day responsibilities, It was called My Daily Checklist.

If you would like to find day to do activities that your child can do independently here are a few age assigned examples. Every child is different, some may pick up things sooner or later. Choose actions you feel comfortable they can safely execute. Good luck and enjoy your child’s self-reliance adventure!

Age 1:

Brush their teeth.

Pick up toys.

Feed himself.

Pick a book for bed

Age 2:

Clean up around the house with his own rag while you clean.

Sweep up, toy broom as you sweep.

Grab his own cup or dishes from bottom drawer.

Choose his own snacks from bottom of refrigerator.

Age3:

Open refrigerator, pick his own snacks, and feed himself.

Clean up his mess after he finishes his meal.

Grab his own cup from bottom drawer and fill from water cooler.

Put away his dishes in the sink.

Sweep and mop up his own spills and messes.

Wipe down cabinets and tables.

Age 4

Help set the table.

Help match up his socks.

Help pack his “out” bag.

Choose out his clothes and dresses himself.

Help make the bed with you.

Age 5

Help wash dishes.

Make his own bed.

Put away clean clothes.

add sweeping and mopping small areas, bathroom sinks and cabinets.

If you have any other other ideas or examples you found that helped your child and their independence, please share in the comments below. Thank you!

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