How to Raise an Independent Toddler

independent toddler on slide
Photo by Luke Southern on Unsplash

A Mommybites reader asked: “I want to make my toddler independent but I also don’t want to push her too much. What to do?”

The look on a child’s face when they have accomplished a task is amazing, but before they master a task there will be some frustration. Don’t let that dissuade you. We don’t need to fear frustration – it is a part of life, and the elation when we have completed a frustrating task is immeasurable.

When beginning to give tasks to toddlers, start small — you can always add on tasks from there as accomplishments are made. On the family jobs side of things, a toddler can put spoons, forks, and napkins on a table, they can put food in a pet’s bowl, they can sweep up after dinner with small brooms, and they can help you take clothes out of the dryer (when not super hot).

In the self care department, they can clean up their toys, put on pants, a skirt, underwear, brush teeth (and then you can do a round), take cups and non-breakables to the sink, and throw trash away.

If there is a task to be done, can see how far your child can get. Can they put their lunchbox in their bag? Can they zip it? If not, how can you mentor – not do it, but talk them through how THEY can complete the task?

Life is full of challenges, and learning to overcome them and push through is a big part of life. Have your toddler start to take over new tasks, see how much they can do, and then keep adding on. Remember: think mentor, not do-er, and as I mentioned in the beginning, the look on a child’s face when they have accomplished a task is amazing – it just lights up a room!

Brandi Davis, ACC, is a professional Parenting Coach, Parent Educator, and Author of O.K. I’m A Parent Now What? She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and be sure to catch her parenting podcasts on iTunes. The goal of Brandi’s practice is to bring respect, calm communication, teamwork, and FUN into the home or classroom. To discover all that Child and Family Coaching can bring to your family stop by

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The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.

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