My two year old thinks she’s much older than she really is. I blame that mostly on the fact that she has two older sisters, and mimics them more often than not. Also, she’s two. The age when children want to start doing things on their own.
So when it comes to daily tasks, I have to allow her to have more independence. Allowing them to do things on their own is great, and a fantastic way to help your child grow, but can be scary if not executed correctly.
So what should you do to encourage independence in your toddler, in a safe way? It’s easy!
1. Toddler-Proof Your Home
One of the easiest ways to allow your child to do things on their own is to create a save environment for them. That means child-proofing your home.
When your home is safe, they’re freer to explore. The safer your home is for exploration, the more likely you’ll limit yourself saying, “No.” And because you’re not saying, “No” as often, you can reduce the power struggles between you and your child.
2. Give Your Toddler Choices
One of the best pieces of advice I learned after having my second child, was to allow your child to choose from YOUR choices.
For instance, when getting ready in the morning instead of allowing them to choose an outfit from all of their clothing (which usually causes some crazy choices!) pick out two different outfits and allow them to choose from that only. Same goes for snacks or even toys.
In the end, they’re still making the final decision, and again you’re not having to deal with a power struggle.
3. Practice Being Absent
One way I encourage my toddler to have independence daily, is to allow her to have playtime alone. Provided that you’ve created a safe-environment with toddler-proofing their bedroom or playroom, even a one-year old can spend a short time by themselves with toys.
Worried about leaving them alone? One of the best things you can buy for your home is a video monitor.
Our VTech Safe&Sound Video Baby Monitor includes: Pan, Tilt, and Zoom, which allows the camera pan up to 270 degrees side-to-side and tilt as many as 124 degrees up and down. Plus, the camera zooms up to 2x. Allowing you to be able to see your child no matter where they are playing in the room.
Want to be able to see them in more than one room? The system even supports viewing of up to 4 total cameras from one parent unit. Viewing modes include single view (one camera only), split view (cycles through cameras on single view before stopping on split view) and patrol mode (single view that transitions to a different camera every 7 seconds).
4. Choose Age-Appropriate Chores
Another great way to encourage your toddler’s independence is to care for themselves and family early on. A two or three-year old can tackle small tasks like putting dirty clothes in the laundry, picking up toys, and even dusting. Choose tasks that they can accomplish independently.
Encourage every-day tasks for your toddler with small rewards, like an extra story time at bedtime, a sticker, or extra play-time before bed.