“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings” – Ann Landers.
One of, if not the most important goal as a parent is to teach our children to one day become independent adults. In doing so, we must start teaching them at a young age. I am in no way shape-or-form perfect at this. I am a work in progress. I find that it is a catch 22 because even though I want to teach them… it is 1000 times faster to do it myself. Time is a precious commodity these days, so I have to remind myself to teach the kids even if it is going to take more time. I am going to share some shortcuts that I have found. Teaching independence with these will help make it easier, more convenient as a parent, and more enjoyable for children.
1. My biggest pet peeve… I have cleaned all day and the house is spotless, then the kids get home from school, and within 5 minutes there are back packs, shoes and jackets strewn all over. I have made my life as well as their lives easier by using lockers. It is also teaching responsibility by using the Little Partners My First Cubby. My kids now know exactly what I expect from them. All of their school stuff, shoes, and jackets must be stored away in the cubby prior to their after school snack. A win-win is that they never have any questions of where anything is at the next morning.
2. My kids struggle to remember to brush their teeth on their own. I tried to think of ways to make this a more enjoyable, less dirty teeth, and more convenient for my littles to do this on their own. I have found that my kids have loved using a Sonicare Electric Toothbrush it cleans their teeth better, they do not have to work as hard to scrub as it does it for them, and it has a timer built in.
3. There’s a great book about teaching independence and tells us at what ages kids should be doing certain household chores; you can find that post here. The author stressed having your children start making their own sandwiches and lunches. I dislike my kids on the counters and so this was a difficult one for me. I found the Little Partners Growing Step Stool which has made this job much easier. Plus they are easy to move so my kids can move the stool to help with getting to the sink or getting their clothes down from the top of their closet shelves.
4. Chore Charts are my kids favorite ways to stay up to date on their chores. When they get to check mark the chores as they finish, they have found satisfaction in their accomplishments. There is something amazing about getting things done. If you subscribe to our email list we have some of the very best chore charts and many other very useful kids charts that will be emailed to you as soon as you subscribe!
5. I have just recently found these Grabease utensils. They are a life changer. It is such a game changer when the littles can start to feed themselves, plus it is a necessity for independence. They have a short handle and help Heath pick up the food in a much easier way.
I hope one (if not all) of these items can assist you in teaching independence and responsibility to your little loves. “The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence” -Denis Watley.
To read more about teaching independence go HERE.