Two Fast Ways To Foster Toddler Independence At Home
Providing your young child with more independence can actually increase the number of activities possible to do with your active toddler. There is no doubt that offering independence is challenging for the adult – so many things are more convenient if we just do them ourselves. So, let’s take it slowly by breaking down two simple strategies you can implement, immediately.
Set Time Changes
Create time ranges rather than dedicating specific times for which your toddler has their evening routine. Not all days will be the same depending on your schedule, errands needing to be done, siblings’ activities, and social events. This means your child may not be hungry or tired at the exact moment as they were yesterday. Creating a ranged schedule reduced the amount of time for stress. For example;
- Start eating dinner between 5:45 and 6:15 pm
- Bath time starts between 6:30-6:45 pm
- Books in bed around 7:00-7:15 pm
- Lights out by 7:40 pm!
This type of schedule provides you 2 hours to do 3 things and 40 minutes of wiggle-room to have your child in bed no later than 8 pm, every night. Apply this example to other parts of your day that seem to be more chaotic and challenging. Ranges also allow a toddler more time to do things on their own.
Prepare The Environment For Tomorrow Morning!
Let your child squeeze toothpaste onto their brush after they finish brushing their teeth at night and leave it on the counter. Next, have your child choose an outfit for the morning by having them choose between two choices for both a top and bottoms. Finally, provide a brief breakdown of how tomorrow will go – “In the morning, you can brush your teeth and change your clothes for school. Your toothbrush is on the counter and your clothes are here on your chair”. These simple actions allow two things to happen; 1) your child gets to wake up, brush their teeth, and change their clothing independently, and/or 2) you are two steps ahead in the morning and can allow your child to take the time to brush their own teeth, or practice putting their own pants on. Oh, and it also eliminates the battle of choosing an appropriate outfit in the morning (we all know that battle…).
All it takes is a bit of preparation and staying in good habits of preparing your toddler’s environment ahead of time. Let flexibility be a part of your routine, this way you know you are prepared for whatever may come up!