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Fostering Independence

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An exciting part of the toddler years is the transition from dependent to more independent! Here are some tips from the experts on fostering this independence in your little one.

  • Set limits and create reasonable routines
    • Make sure you take the time to discuss any rules you may have and why they are important to follow
      • Example: We always buckle up in the car so we can be safe and protected
    • Create a simple routine for the morning and evening that your child can reasonably accomplish on their own
      • Example: Morning routine: 1. Use the bathroom 2. Brush your teeth and hair 3. Get dressed 4. Put pajamas in the laundry bin
  • Encourage your child to get involved in simple daily tasks
    • Assign reasonable responsibilities based on your child’s developmental stage
      • Remember this takes practice! Praise your little one for making an effort and offer assistance when needed until they get the hang of it.
    • Allow them to pick out their own clothing
      • This can be simplified by giving them a few different options to choose from
      • Ask your child to dress themselves as well!
    • Encourage your little one to participate in grooming
      • Let them brush their teeth and hair in the morning
      • Ask them to place their dirty laundry in the clothes bin
  • Talk and Listen!
    • Talk: praise your little one’s successes and give support when they fall short
      • Share your own successes and failures with your one from when you were learning independence!
    • Listen: encourage your child to ask questions and assume more responsibility when they are ready
    • These discussions make children feel important, adult-like, and that their opinions and thoughts matter

As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding fostering independence for your child, please contact your pediatrician. Here is a helpful link from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/preschool/Pages/Growing-Independence-Tips-for-Parents-of-Young-Children.aspx

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