It’s funny how one day you can look up and your cute little chubby baby has turned into a full grown toddler. This is when they start doing and saying the cutest things, and even their clinginess is heartwarming. But even though we love to love our little ones, I think teaching toddlers to be more independent is important.
I know it may sound a little harsh, I mean after all they are still practically a baby. But I promise, there will come a day when you really need to get something done and all your toddler will want is to hang on to you like a little koala. I know because I have a little koala myself.
You will come to the realize that you are more than just a mom and begin to want “your” life back. You know like actually putting on adult clothes to hang out with your girlfriends or having a hobby outside of your children’s crafts. One day you will find yourself wishing your little koala was just a little bit more independent.
Here are 3 quick tips to encourage your toddler to be more independent.
Encourage them Verbally
One on the best ways to encourage your toddler to be more independent is by telling them. Using phrases like “you can do it”, “you are such a big boy”, and “you are a great helper” makes them feel proud.
Toddlers just want reassurance. They want to know their efforts are recognized and that it’s okay. Honestly most times it’s us moms who are hindering them from growing up with our own clingy issues, but I digress.
Encouraging them helps them feel more confident about being more independent and leads them to want to do it more.
Stop Doing Everything for them
Listen, the child will never learn to be responsible if you keep doing things for them. Do not walk behind them all day picking up their mess. No!
Allow your toddler to try things on their own. If and when they need help, let them ask for it. I know it is faster if you just do it but I promise you will thank me later.
Give them Responsibilities
Usually, your toddler will have walked around all day playing with toys leaving a trail throughout the house. Give them a responsibility to clean their own mess.
Introduce them to where all their things go (labels are amazing for this) and have them put them away. Eventually, when you say it’s time to clean up they will begin to put things away on their own.
Teaching toddlers to be more independent takes work, but implementing some of these suggestions will get your toddler more independent and give you back a little more time.
Look for opportunities throughout your day to allow your toddler to thrive in their independence. There may be areas that they are asking to show you how much they can do. Allow them to do so.
Don’t Expect Perfection
This one is huge. Let them do it their way. There will be things you will want to go behind them and fix but sometimes you have to allow them to lead. This will give them confidence to continue to help and make them feel excited that they are doing things on their own.
Allowing your toddler to do things on their own and gain their independence probably won’t be easy in the beginning. But with consistent effort they will be helping you get more time back to be the best mom you can be!
Teaching Toddlers to be More Independent