Toddlers are naturally curious, so they may want to explore their environment and new surroundings. To help toddlers discover the world around them, it’s important to provide opportunities for them to be independent. By encouraging independence in toddlers, you’re giving them the skills they need to learn how to be successful, productive members of society. The tips in this blog will help you to give toddlers the skills they need to be independent.
Allow them to make mistakes
One of the best ways to encourage independence in your toddler is to let them make mistakes. This means that you should let your child do things on their own, even when they don’t quite know what they’re doing. Letting your child make mistakes is a fine line to walk though, because you don’t want to let your toddler get hurt. You should only let your child play on their own when you’re sure they’re not in any danger.
Allow them to make decisions
In order to help young children become more independent, parents can make small changes that help their toddlers learn to make their own decisions. For example, when you offer your toddler a choice, he or she will be less likely to cry. This is because toddlers will feel as though they are in control of the situation. This feeling of control will help them to become more independent.
You can make your toddler feel more in control by letting them make choices about what they will eat for dinner. Letting your little ones choose what they will wear will also help them learn to make decisions. These small changes can help to encourage independence and make your toddler feel more confident.
A good way to encourage independence in your toddler is to try to give them as much opportunity to talk as possible. This will help them to begin expressing themselves, telling you what they like, or don’t like, or asking for what they need.
This can be especially important when considering potty training. Try to give your child the language skills early on to be able to communicate around going to the bathroom and using the potty. Being able to tell you when they’ve been or need to go to the toilet can be a game changer for potty training. Make sure they have diapers they like to wear and know where to find them. These small actions will help them build confidence and independence around going to the bathroom
Avoid over-correcting minor things
It can be hard for the perfectionists among us, but to encourage independence in your toddler, try not to over-correct minor things. Overcorrecting shows your child that what they’ve done isn’t quite good enough. This may make them not want to try again in the future. So, try to let things be. For example, if you’ve asked your child to make their bed, and they’ve more or less done it. Perhaps they haven’t done it very well, but instead of correcting, praise them for trying. Not everything has to be a lesson, and often encouragement can help more than being corrected.
This is especially important when doing art and craft-based activities. Try to keep in mind if they’re painting, coloring, or playing with stickers that there is no right or wrong. Let them be free and creative and build confidence in their own abilities and ideas.
When your child is young, promoting independence can be as much a challenge for the parent as it is for the child. Of course, your instincts kick in and you want to provide for them and do as much as you can to ensure they’re thriving, happy, and content. However, making mistakes, trying new things, and making decisions for themselves are all important steps to becoming independent individuals.
Lastly, a simple way you can give yourself peace of mind whilst encouraging autonomy is by ensuring your home is a safe space. Limiting your toddler’s access to anything dangerous or not child friendly will mean that you can relax and let them play and explore a little more. Making sure they have access to little things they may need or want, without having to climb or reach too high will let them complete small tasks for themselves and also gain a better insight into what they want and need.
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