How to teach a 2-year-old independence
2 years old children often try to demonstrate their self-reliance. Sometimes it may look quite funny, for example when a toddler is trying to dress himself, but it may also sometimes drive parents crazy when their child is stubborn and for example doesn’t want to eat and throws the food all over the kitchen. Parents may even feel hopeless when their baby doesn’t want to listen to them. So how to teach a toddler independence without going crazy?
First of all, parents should remember that it’s a good sign when their child tries to be independent. It means that their baby develops properly, is curious, trust its own strength, feels support from his parents but also wants to show them that he’s big and able to do some things on its own.
However such a small child doesn’t understand yet that there are some restrictions and rules, that some things are urgent and need to be done quickly and other things need to be done more precisely than the baby can do. Hence there are some misunderstandings, which sometimes can be fun but also a little annoying for parents. Here are some tips how to support child’s natural self-reliance and develop his independence.
Parents should be patient and set some rules, that of course will be modified, along with child’s new skills. For example, at the beginning child can open and close the Velcro on his shoes, put short or cap, but mother is the can that zips his jacket.
Before you start to dress your child (and argue about what he should wear today), you should make a deal: he can put socks on his feet, but you help him with the sneakers. Thanks to that, child will feel he also has control over dressing and will know what are his duties.
Parents can also let the toddler choose what he wants to wear, but not let him choose from two options, not from all clothes in the wardrobe! Let the child decide whether he want to wear blue or brown trousers or whether he prefers sweater with a dog or car.
Remember that child does everything slower and doesn’t feel the need to hurry. So if you want to let your child to dress himself for a stroll, you should start the preparation earlier to give your child enough time. Thanks to that you also won’t get nervous you will be late somewhere. Besides, you can also fool around a little bit and should your child that dressing can be also fun.
If your child is trying to show you his independence, you can use it during teaching him hygiene rules. To make it more attractive for the baby, you can buy a soap in the shape of his favorite animal or a soap that has colorful pictures on the package. You can also let your child to take his favorite toy to the bath tub (of course make sure this toy is suitable for playing in water). You can also buy a colorful towel with your child’s favorite animal, car or character from a movie.
Parents should let their kids to eat independently, even if they eat using their hands! Even few months old babies can eat alone. After a while you can give you child a spoon or a fork – of course plastic ones and suitable for babies. You can also let your child choose what he want to eat – just give him two options, not ten! Thanks to that your child will develop his own food preferences and appropriate eating habits. Moreover, eating independently is also a great opportunity to practice coordination and movement precision.
The child want to imitate his parents behavior but he’s small which often is an obstacle. Look around your house and think how you can facilitate his daily routine tasks, how to make his everyday activities more easy. Put a stable step stool so he could switch the light on and off. The child step stool will be also useful in bathroom – next to the sink, toilet and bathtub. You can also use one in the kitchen, so your child could help you to prepare meals. Install a hanger for child’s jacket so he could reach it.
Before you encourage your child to perform daily activities on his own (like dressing, brushing teeth, bathing or eating), set the rules: what the child does on his own, and how you can help him.
For example, teaching child to brush teeth daily, can be a great challenge for parents patience. The child can protest and refuse to brush his teeth. There are few ways how to deal with such a situation. Mom can brush the baby’s teeth, and baby can brush mom’s teeth. You can also tell a story about a crocodile that brushes bird’s teeth and make funny faces. Funny child songs can be also very helpful during brushing lessons.
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zooey Barnett is mom of three and blogger on Little Baby Gear where she recommends the best baby products like strollers, baby swings and educational toys. On her blog you can find articles about parenting and reviews of many different types of strollers, for example: travel systems and lightweight strollers.