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As our babies turn into toddlers they naturally push to become more independent.  It’s an important time in our little ones development and should be encouraged to help them gain self confidence and independence giving them the tools that they will require in adult life.

As a mum of 3 I’ve had a fair deal of experience bringing up children.  Supporting your child to navigate the hurdles of young life will help you both in essence.  A child that can feed itself, that can clothe itself, take itself to the bathroom etc. not only develops it’s own confidence and a sense of achievement it also helps keep them busy and also gives mum that extra time to do even the simplest things in the house that normally get left until the children are asleep.

5 Ways To Develop Your Toddlers Independence

It helps both parent and child when you work together to assist little ones to tackle the various hurdles that most toddlers must face.  These need to be worked at gradually.  Rushing only increases the pressure and can further slow the process.  Making challenges fun, turning things into a game will not only help maintain the child’s focus it will also reinforce what they learn as they will associate it with something fun or something funny their parent did.

Self Feeding

One thing that I will never forget is when my son decided he wanted to feed himself.  He was eating a Greek soup I had made called Avgolemono and he took the spoon from me and fed himself.  Of course floods of praise flew from my mouth and he was so proud of his achievement that he never turned back.  This was a small hurdle and the first of many that we would face together.

And boy did has he made the most of his new skill!

Washing / Grooming / Self Care

Whether they’re learning to brush their teeth in a fun way, or; wash their hands and face in the morning, washing in the bath, brushing their hair these will all help with hand eye co-ordination, and help a child develop a sense of achievement in having accomplished what to us is perceived as small tasks.

Dressing

Children love to dress themselves.  Give them the opportunity to try dressing themselves, add a favourite outfit, plenty of practise and a sprinkle of praise and you’ll have the perfect recipe for success.  My son loves to help mummy pick what he’s going to wear and enjoys wearing a range of outfits from smart to casual.

Toilet Training

The first thing to remember here is that children mature at different speeds.  Some children are ready to start this process earlier than others so don’t feel pressurised to have your little one toilet trained by the age of two just because your mum said she did that with you for example.  Once you are both ready you might need a few accessories to help you on your way such as a stool to allow the little one to reach toilet on their own and also a children’s toilet seat.  There are many toilet training guides that can help you and your toddler get through this challenging time together.  This is a big part of growing up and makes children feel like a big person and no longer a baby which enthuses them to try to succeed in more areas.

Helping Around the House

Simple chores around the house are great to help keep little ones busy, behaving and learning new skills and amazing they love to do them.  My girls used to want to help me with the hoovering – it was hilarious watching them try to push the large hose around especially as they were so small yet the determination on their faces didn’t waiver.  My son loves to help take out the washing from the dryer, pop them on the sofa to be folded and then pull the clothes that are in the washing machine into the dryer.Other chores that children can help with include putting their plate, knife and fork in the sink after a meal, helping mummy by making the bed.  I found that having children’s themed beds can really help with this.  My son climbs all over his bed to make it look as perfect as possible.  Putting toys away after use is a biggie and one my son hasn’t quite mastered yet it’s a work in progress and I look forward to the day we can cross that one off the list.

The most important thing to remember is that children that are given support and guidance and are shown how to approach things in a fun way will be more willing to get involved and will learn to do things at a faster rate.  It’s also a nice way to reinforce your bonds by doing things together and create memories for you both to cherish.

What tips would you suggest to help develop a toddlers independence?

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61 thoughts on “5 Ways To Develop Your Toddlers Independence”

  1. I agree with all of these as a Mum to two little boys aged 3 and 5. I have to say though that I am not always the best at getting them to help around the house, I need to try and do this a little more. x

    1. Helping around the house is one of those things you can introduce gradually. Make it fun and they’ll be looking for chores to do!!

  2. Self care and self feeding was already a big thing! Dressing is still something my daughter struggles with especially buttons!!

  3. Helping around the house is such a good idea, I know that we didn’t do that as kids but I kind of wish we had to get used to it x

  4. Really helpful tips, thanks so much.
    My boys are a bit older – 8 and 5 – and I really struggle with getting the little one to help around the house unfortunatelly.

  5. Great advice. My girls are older now and a lot more independent thanks to us introducing some of these at a young age.

  6. I don’t have children but I do have a friend with an 8 months old baby and I have noticed that he does like to feed himself. He is not yet a master of the spoon, but he does take food from the plate with hid hand and eat it. 🙂

  7. Some really great tips here! I vaguely remember being allowed to pick out my own outfits as a young child and I think that definitely helped to foster my creativity!
    C x

  8. Great tip for any parents, especially those who are going through it for the first time. Your kids are cute as usual…

  9. These are all brilliant tips, self-feeding is definitely a bit milestone for toddler independence for sure. When my kids where toddlers they enjoyed helping around the house and still do now

  10. Totally agree – so important to embrace their budding independence. Sophie helped with chores & she still does which is great for me!

    1. That’s great to hear. I do try to get mine to help where possible as there are so many chores in the home that need to be done.

  11. My youngest is two and she loves to get involved around the house. From holding the vacuum cable as I clean the floor or handing pegs as I put the washing out.

  12. He’s so cute! These are some great tips for improve kids’ independence. You did an awesome job outlining them!

  13. It[s so important to encourage our children independence. Mine all got there in their own time but my youngest daughter struggles to be independent at all!

  14. As a kid, I was totally independent. I would dress myself, eat myself . My mother says she never taught me all this. I gradually adopted it.

  15. This is a really interesting post indeed. I think you raised some great pointers on how to develop independence which is so important!

  16. These are some great tips and it’s really important to help your toddler grow and learn to do some things for themsleves and gain independence

    Laura x

  17. My boy charlie has just turned 2 and has started tantruming screaming all sorts …. My daughter Sheriah skipped the terrible 2s 😂😂

  18. We absolutely loved your pointers! This is most certainly something we will forward to our parents friends

  19. These are all fab tips. My son is at the stage of wanting to do more things like dress himself or do the dishes. And he loves “helping” to do the washing. But I let him because it’s part and parcel of him growing up and becoming independent, even though it takes twice as long to get things done right!

    1. It can take much longer but that’s spot on. It’s important for them to know that these things need to be done and that helping around the house is a good thing.

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