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6 Ways To Help Your Toddler Become Independent

I can hardly believe our little Ruby is already a full fledged toddler. The difference in her skillset from the beginning of summer to now is crazy. Her abilities have improved ten-fold and her personality is absolutely present in every…single…thing… she does! (If you know, you know.) As she’s progressing through the toddler stage, I love seeing her overcome challenges and learn new things. At the beginning of summer, she needed someone behind her at the zoo playground or she’d fall and get hurt. Now, she can meander through the entire thing, up and down the steps, down the slides, and through the tunnels with no problem.

So as we progress (and survive) toddlerhood, I love providing ways to help my toddler become more independent. Helping her become confident is important to me. And while she knows she can always turn to me for help, direction, comfort, or companionship; building her up to be self-assured in the things she does is also important.

Ways To Help Your Toddler Become Independent

The Best Ways To Help Your Toddler Become Independent

Independence. While sometimes a tricky thing, it’s also an important way to build self-identity, self-esteem, and confidence in toddlers and children. It also allows kids to feel a sense of control in times of stress, change, and uncertainty.

Allow Daily Choices

I love providing Ruby with choices. Letting her make decisions on things such as what shoes she wants to wear or what toy we should take along in the car gives her confidence and a sense of ownership. One of Ruby’s favorite things to do is choose the books she wants us to read to her. She comes running with a book in hand and THE BIGGEST SMILE every time I tell her to pick one!

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Involve Your Toddlers With Household Tasks

Ruby LOVES to help me with anything and everything I’m doing. From blogging (she’s got her own little keyboard and mouse that she pulls up next to mine) to helping move loads of laundry to cooking. Giving her the freedom to take part in daily household tasks is extremely empowering for her.

girl with dog - Ways To Help Your Toddler Become Independent

I absolutely LOVE how our Learn ‘N Fold Learning Tower allows her to help in the kitchen safely. This tower is designed so much better than one we had previously for Lucy. Not only does it have a ‘ladder’ style step for easy in and out, it also folds for storage.

The Best Ways To Help Your Toddler Become Independent

The four-sided railings provide security and peace of mind (for me!), while also providing the confidence and independence for her to climb in and out of the folding learning tower unassisted.

The Best Ways To Help Your Toddler Become Independent

You’ll find Ruby at our island counter on her Learning Tower at least half a dozen times a day. Sometimes she’s there just to ‘chat’ -aka: babble- while watching all the kitchen action while other times she’s helping me dump, mix, and make. Every evening when my husband comes in from farm chores, she climbs up next to him to ‘help’ him eat his evening snack.

baby girl - Ways To Help Your Toddler Become Independent

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Encourage Reasonable Risks

While this can be tough for parents, it’s absolutely normal and healthy for a child to take some (reasonable) risks throughout the day. This may look like letting them decide what to play with outdoors and perhaps getting muddy at the bottom of a slide. Allowing your child to ride a bike down a slight incline with the chance of getting a scraped knee is also okay. (Hey, they actually might be really coordinated and smoke that hill!)

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Allow Your Toddler The Chance To Self Feed And Choose Snacks

While toddlers can be extremely messy when eating, it’s important to give them the space to explore. Ruby was a bit slow on wanting to eat ‘real food’ (as she much preferred breastmilk instead) so we just put small amounts of food on her plate and had her sit at the table with us. It didn’t actually matter to me whether or not she actually ate anything. Just giving her the freedom of choice and ability to experience foods on her terms was key.

supper - Italian Creamy Chicken Alfredo Recipe
One of her favorite meals is this Chicken Alfredo recipe!

While I don’t typically allow toddlers to choose their meals (unless I’m just warming up leftovers), I love giving them a choice on snacks. I’ll typically offer up 2-3 options and they get to select what they’d like from those. This allows me the control of quality while she gets to make the final decision.

Create Practical Spaces For Helping Independence Grow

Arrange your home and spaces to encourage toddler independence – have a stool near the bathroom sink so your child can wash their own hands, give your child a small towel to dry themselves after bath time, keep tissues around the house so they can blow their own nose, etc. We were struggling with Ruby wanting to wash her own hands but all the typical store step-stools weren’t sufficient. (Too skinny. Too tippy. Not sturdy. Etc.) Then I found the 3-in-1 Growing Step Stool from Little Partners.

Ways To Help Your Toddler Become Independent

This step stool is designed with independence in mind. It actually features three different height adjustments and has built in hand rails for kids to grasp.

little girl - The Best Ways To Help Your Toddler Become Independent

It’s everything I was looking for. The sturdy wood construction gives it sufficient weight, durability, and functionality while giving Ruby the boost she needed to safely reach the faucet.

little girl - Ways To Help Your Toddler Become Independent

Learn More About This Stool:

Take A Step Back

When kids are first learning new skills, it’s so easy to catch myself swooping in to help. Instead, it’s best to give your child the space and opportunity to fix their own problems. Offering a chance to resolve conflicts without your assistance gives them the opportunity to build important skills.

As You Find Ways To Help Your Toddler Become Independent, Be Sure To Give Grace

Remember, be patient with your toddler as they take on new challenges, tasks, and responsibilities as they grow. While a daily task may take you longer to do with the involvement of your special little helper, practice makes better and repetition is a key factor to your child improving their independence!

Little Partners has several great products to aid in helping you find ways to help your toddler become independent!

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Peggy Nunn

Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

I can't believe she is that big all ready. I remember when Lucy was that big. I like your suggestions. They will really help any child.