Encouraging independence in toddlers is good for their development.
You might want your baby to stay young forever, but it’s important to let them grow and let them go when they show signs that they’re ready! For example, it might feel overwhelming to let your toddler handle a new task after they demand “I can do it!” But allowing them to give it a try helps them build resilience, self-confidence, and a secure attachment style.
How to Make Your Child More Independent
Making your child more independent doesn’t mean leaving them to complete tasks unsupervised. It means giving them space to try something all on their own, allowing them to fail, and gently directing them to a better outcome next time.
Here are 3 things you can do to help your little one with their independence:
- Get them involved in things around the house
Once your babies can walk on their own and understand how to follow directions, it’s time to think about adding them to the chore wheel!
Encourage them to pick up their toys, help put the groceries away, wash fruits and veggies for dinner, etc. Stay nearby, just in case they ask for help, but try to give them space to figure the tasks out alone.
- Offer freedom of choice
Give your little one a few options when deciding what they want. Too many options can overwhelm a little one (and they might firmly decide on something you’re not okay with), but a few options will give them control over the end choice and ensure they choose something you’ve already approved. For example, when deciding what to do this weekend, you might ask, “Do you want to go to the park, the movies, or a friend’s house?”
- Re-design your kid-friendly home
While you may have had things like cups, bowls, and plates in an eye-level cabinet when they were babies, it might be time to rearrange your home with your independent toddler in mind. Consider placing their items at their eye level or lower, so they don’t have to ask for help as often.