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Moms' Corner, Parenting

How to teach your toddler to be self-sufficient

Alternative Text By: Pallavi Gunni | January 15, 2019

My friend is a mom of a toddler, and is always running around with her little boy, helping him with everything even while playing. By the evening she becomes extremely exhausted to attend to all her other household chores. This is every mom’s story as all of us save five minutes in tying their shoelaces ourselves, instead of spending time in teaching them and feed them ourselves in order to avoid big messes they make. However, we all need to take a step back and let our kids try harder as even the kids want to do things themselves. We need to make toddlers more self-sufficient especially when we are welcoming a newborn baby in the family. Self-sufficiency is very important in the development of a toddler, in a long run.

We moms are very emotional and sensitive when our kids are the concerned, but in practical life we should let go and let the little ones explore and do their chores on their own. We Indian moms really need to change our upbringing and let the kids take over, this builds their confidence, and they become self-dependent and can differentiate between right or wrong. The reason why we should let the kids be self-sufficient – the confidence helps the kids to feel more independent and they feel gratified when they are able to do something by themselves after many tries. We are usually saving our time when we undress them ourselves or tie their laces in five flat seconds rather than watching them do on their own, Doing everything for the kid is quite tempting as we all know that we can do it faster, but in the long run, we will save more time if we let them do all the little jobs themselves. It might take a while to tie the laces or to undress, but miracles happen and your time will be freed, once he starts doing more tasks himself.

As a mother I let my kids do several chores on their own like putting on shoes, washing hands, putting dishes away or putting away their toys. I spend a lot of time patiently, watching them to do things, on their own and correct them where they go wrong. Slowly and with time, kids learn to do their chores in a right manner and once they complete it they express their joy by showing us that they are done. It’s our duty to encourage and appreciate them when they do so.

Few tips as a mother I would like to share with you-

  • As a mother we have extra responsibility to teach the required skills: We as parents are in a great job – to raise responsible future adult, who are self-sufficient. This will happen only when we teach them the required skills through their childhood. We need to help them to learn the important skills that they will require throughout their life so that they can handle any situation without giving up and always bear a positive attitude.
  • Meal times can also be a great learning exercise for kids: Instead of spoon feeding your child, scoop the food and place the spoon in his hand to guide it towards the child’s mouth. Do not cut the food in bite-size, but slice it in larger pieces so that they can bite it. Teach them how to use a fork so that he can eat by them self and change their sipper habits to regular cups. The beginning might be messy, but you will get results very soon.
  • Toilet time learning: I gradually & patiently taught my child to pull down his pants or underwear by himself before sitting on the toilet and let him turn on the faucets, soap and dry his hands on his own. Just wait patiently and guide them throughout the process. During bath time, let him undress himself and place his dirty clothes in the laundry basket. Slowly you will notice the change and see the confidence in your kid’s eye.
  • Take help from toddlers in household chores: Taking little help from your little one helps them to boost their confidence level & it also encourages them to perform everyday house chores. Kids can bring dishes to the sink after a meal, which will help them learn how to hold the dishes straight. Assign a clean-up time for the toys, so that they put away their toys at a fixed time. This will make them realize that everyone in the family helps with the daily chores and no job is assigned to a particular person.

Although the thought of letting a toddler do things on his own is daunting, raising a self-sufficient kid is crucial as they will have more confidence and skills to become liable adults in the future. We can look out for small tasks that the kids can start doing on their own, although beginnings will always be tough, gradually they will become accustomed of doing things by themselves.

As a mother of a boy I request all the mothers to helps their sons be self-sufficient because few people do think it’s not a boy’s task to do house or any kind of chores, do share your story in the comment section, how are you dealing with your kids upbringing.

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