When your toddler was a baby you attended to his or her every need.
By now your little prince or princess is likely to have grown accustomed to this royal treatment. They may even expect it. But remember, babies are helpless but toddlers are perfectly capable of helping themselves!
Your toddler is probably able to put on some of his or her own clothes and maybe even their shoes. He or she can also find and pick up objects. Here are some ways to get your toddler in a ‘Do It Yourself’ frame of mind.
Don’t jump to attention
Every time your toddler wants something their first port of call is to ask you for it. Next time they demand a toy encourage them to find it for themselves.
Time spent now saves time later
It can be frustrating watching you toddler fumble around trying to put on his or her shoes, but if you both invest the time now they’ll gain some independence and you’ll be free from having to dress them forever!
Don’t enter into spoon-feeding standoffs
The most powerful time of day for toddlers is dinnertime. Everyone’s tired, you’ve invested time and energy preparing food and they turn their nose up at it. It’s tempting to resort to spoon-feeding at this stage, but your toddler is perfectly capable of feeding themselves. Just get on with enjoying your meal and they will soon rediscover their eating capabilities.
Turn them into your little helper
Ask your toddler to help you whenever possible. Get them to fill the washing machine, tidy up and dust. Toddlers love to feel helpful and involving them in household chores encourages their motor skills, gives them a sense of responsibility and you a helping hand.
Don’t be fooled
Remember, if they are capable of doing something once, they can do it again. Don’t be taken in by time-wasting performances and protests that they can’t do it.
There’s always a first
Being able to turn a tap off may be easy for you but it is a great achievement for your toddler. Remember to make a fuss of all their ‘firsts’ to encourage their sense of achievement.
It can be a shock for your toddler when they realise you are no longer at their beck and call, but persevere with your quest for a DIY toddler or you’ll commit yourself to a lifetime of attending to their every need!