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Try These Tips to Boost Your Preschooler's Independence

Try These Tips to Boost Your Preschooler's Independence

Year after year, a new set of parents experiences the anxiety of sending little ones to school for the first time.

"Will they cry when I leave them?"

"Will they be disruptive or confused?"

It's questions like these that run through many parents' minds. To overcome these doubts, find ways to build their confidence before they ever enter the classroom. 

How can you build your child's self-esteem? It starts with letting them complete more tasks on their own. Start with activities like helping cook dinner, brushing their teeth, and putting their toys away. These basic tasks will translate well into the preschool environment.

If you dig a bit deeper, you can really plant the seeds of self-reliance and responsibility. Keep reading for some tips you can try.

Let kids make their own choices

There's something about daily activities like lunch and bedtime that can bring out a toddler's rebellious side.

This can serve as an excellent opportunity to let them have a bit of control. Think of how you can allow them to make a few small choices during these activities. This gives children a sense of achievement that can actually get them excited about the task in the future.

Pro Tip: Keep the choices easy and inconsequential so that there's no right or wrong answer. The goal is to build confidence, not to create judgement or shame.

Here are some examples:

“Do you want to eat off your spaceship plate or the one with farm animals?"

“Do you want to sleep in your butterfly pjs or your striped pjs?”

Finding answers on their own

Toddlers are generally curious creatures and learning to seek out answers is a skill that will transfer into many areas of their life.

You've probably experienced your child asking a barrage of random questions. You've also probably developed the patience to mask your irritation and answer them in a kind, loving manner.

Take it a step further by encouraging them to find the answer themselves. If your home has a voice-activated speaker like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, have them ask the question directly. 

They can even speak the question into their tablet or your smartphone.

Let your toddler earn an allowance

Create a list of age-appropriate chores and decide on a payment amount for each. Show some enthusiasm when you introduce your child to the idea. This will get them excited about completing their list. 

You can even get them two piggy banks – one for saving and one for spending. This teaches them the concept of saving while still being able to spend on a few small things they want. 

Want more? Check out our tips on introducing babies to swimming.