Fostering Independence

Look… I am kind of a lazy mom. If I can have the kids do something so I don’t have to, I am going to make sure they can do it. However, I don’t push them into anything. I don’t believe that actually teaches kids anything. If anything, I think it does the opposite.

So what do we do to foster independence around here?

We set up the house so G can do things on her own.

Most of it’s really easy/free. The rest is pretty inexpensive.

We put a sticker on the bathtub faucet so she could get her bath ready herself. We told her then the knob till it lines up with the sticker and it won’t be too hot. She was around 2 when we did this and she loved it!

We let her pick out her own potty seat for the move to the big potty.

We have snacks and water cups in the pantry and fridge at her level. We try to keep easy to open stuff there, too. Even if everything isn’t easy open, she can find something that is.

We have an extra bar in her closet and a stool so she can reach her clothes. I should add here. She can wear anything she wants that’s in her closet. We will tell her the weather but other than that, she pretty much has free reign. We ask if she wants to bring a jacket, just in case she gets cold.

She can also pack her own bag for an overnight at the grandparents’ houses. We tell her how many outfits, panties, and pajamas and she picks out what she wants.

She makes her own bed.

first time making her own bed when she had just turned 4.

We use phrases like “what’s a solution to that problem you are having?” “What’s your plan?” “Focus on what you are doing.”

It can take a lot of work on the front end but once she got it, it saves my sanity. It’s so nice to say “go get dressed” and she just does it.

It takes time to get to the point we are with G. Lots of instructions on how to make your bed, where your clothes go, etc., etc. but at 4.5 she can put away her laundry, make her bed, and so many other things.

Then the hard part comes in. You can’t fix it if you don’t like it. You can’t tell your kid to go get dressed then make them change. Or tell her to go make her bed then go straighten the pillows. Or fix their dresser drawers because the clothes are just stuffed in there. It’s hard!! Especially when your kid comes downstairs wearing all pink for the 10th day in a row. But trust me, they learn, it gets betters, and it’s so fun to watch.

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