There’s a lot of things you can do to help your toddler become more independent. Set a schedule. Toddlers feel safe and secure when their lives are predictable. Let them know in advance when something different is coming up and set the timer....“In 10 minutes, we’ll be leaving for play group”. This will give your child time to complete his activity. Use that same unit of time and the timer to signal a transition...“In 10 minutes it’ll be snack time. “ Let your child set the timer with you.
Buy clothes that your 2 year old can put on and take off themselves. Practice everyday several times until he “gets it” and then let him choose his own clothes, offer a choice between two items, and by all means let him dress himself. Resist the temptation to do it for him. This is the child’s chance to define him or her self through meaningful action. Make sure you schedule enough time for your child to dress.
Let your child help during food preparation by providing him or her with veggies to scrub. If you “ask and do not tell”..... the child will in a short time gladly take up the offer. Remember you are modeling behavior which signifies your respect and appreciation for the child as an important person and family member. A small scrub brush (a fingernail brush is just right) in a basin of water on the floor or on a child sized table in the kitchen includes the child from his or her perspective as a valued member of the family. It’s the activity that matters, not the end product. Look at the joy and pride in your child’s eyes when she or he tells other family members that “I washed the carrots for dinner”....... Nothing is more meaningful to a child then being part of the activities of the family. Your child’s well being is formed in the Toddler Years. The sooner the adults can realize the importance of independence to the child the happier all will be.