20 Ways to Promote Toddler and Child Independence

Parents know the importance of their children developing independence, which is an essential part of their overall development. Even though you may not want your little one to grow up too fast, their independence is something they will learn bit by bit. You may be surprised at how independent your child already is away from home.

The importance of Independence

Developing independence cultivates self-identity and self-confidence in children, allowing them to feel a sense of control in times of change or uncertainty. Not only does independence promote confidence and self-esteem, it also gives your child a sense of belonging. This is essential for building social relationships and contributing to the world.

Additionally, independence develops their levels of self-awareness and sensitivity towards others. It also provides them with the belief that they are competent and capable of taking care of themselves, making them resilient to external challenges. Building on this, children are able to develop other vital qualities such as patience, self-discipline, self-help and self-trust. These are all necessary qualities that are important in the overall development of a child.

Ways to support child development

Here are some simple things that you can say to your child that is going to help develop their independence in an age-appropriate way:
“I’ll start, you finish”
“Lets do it together”
“I’ll show you, then you try”
“You choose”

Want more practical ways that you can help your child develop their independence? Here’s my suggestions of some everyday situations where you can say things that will help:

When dressing, ask them to:

  • Pick between two set pieces of clothing
  • Pull their shoes or socks off
  • Pull their pants up or down (while standing)
  • Push their arms through sleeves

With grooming and self care, ask them to:

  • Brush their teeth
  • Brush their hair
  • Wash their hands
  • Hold clean nappy until you need it

Around the House, ask them to:

  • Wipe up spills
  • Put dirty clothes into a basket
  • Put toys and books away
  • Turn lights on or off (pick them up if a stool is not near to assist)
  • Put rubbish into a bin

When eating, ask them to:

  • Choose between two snacks
  • Feed themself
  • Peel a banana
  • Wipe the table after a meal
  • Wipe their face and hands after eating

Growing a child’s independence in an age-appropriate way is a key development activity. The good news is, there’s a lot you can do along the way to help them acquire this essential skill.

By Madie Rulla

Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/T9WEDa1nWXU

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