Do we do too much for our toddlers?
We do things like carry them to the car or pick up after them, instead of having them walk or pick up after themselves because our way is faster.
Or we see them struggling to do something themselves so we help.
We love our kids with all of our hearts. I’m sure you’ve even heard some parents, or said yourself, “I would do anything for my children”.
That’s great! You love your kids. You should.
But what if by doing more for our kids, we are actually hurting them?
I want to raise children that are responsible, independent, helpful, hardworking, and motivated. (And 1000 other positive characteristics, but we’re focusing on these 5 today)
Today I am excited to share with you a few small ways we try to help our daughter develop these characteristics, easy ways that you can with your little ones too.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, read my disclosure here.
How I Do More For My Toddler By Doing Less
1.) Not carrying her everywhere.
This is a hard one for me because I love holding my daughter. She may technically be a toddler but to me she will always be my baby.
I am so used to carrying her that I usually just pick her up automatically when I need to go somewhere, like to another room or out to the car.
Its hard sometimes but I try to remember to encourage independence by letting her walk.
2.) Not helping her right away when she asks for help.
We want our daughter to learn to work hard for what she wants, not expect it to be handed to her.
When Alexa asks for my help to get up on the couch I say, “I think you can do it”, “Come on, you got it, I know you can do it” and when she gets up all by herself we both celebrate and say “Yay!”
Instead of helping her, I encourage her to do things by herself and cheer her on as she does them.
Use your judgement. Usually you can tell what your child is capable of.
If you can tell they are really trying but just can’t get it try to intervene and help before they get upset.
3.) Let her try to do things she can’t yet do.
You know you’ve heard it before. Practice makes perfect.
I know my 16 month old can’t yet dress herself, but the only way she is going to learn is if I let her try.
Other examples are letting her use a fork and spoon to eat, brushing her hair, and brushing her teeth.
When time permits, let your little one try to do things themselves.
4.) Give her some responsibilities.
When I am done changing Alexa’s diaper I hand it to her and she throws it away.
When we leave a room I ask her to turn off the light and she flips the switch.
I could easily do these things myself, but having her do them gets her used to helping and having responsibilities.
If you want your kids to be helpful and responsible when they’re older it is best to start now.
5.) Let her explore and learn on her own.
I’m what I like to call a “Pinterest Mom”
I love going on Pinterest and looking up activities to make for/do with my daughter.
As much as I love doing that, lately I’ve been trying to do it a little less.
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, but consider the benefits of finding a balance between organized activities and independent learning/play.
I’m not saying I’m an expert and I don’t personally have the science to back this up.
I just think that if I am constantly coming up with activities for my daughter them she will have a hard time when it comes to trying to entertain herself.
Inspiration For Raising Independent Children
If you are looking for more inspiration for raising independent children I recommend these books below.
I’m a big believer in there being several right ways to parent. Are you a believer in less is more?
What are some ways you are helping your toddler by doing less? I would love to hear what you think in the comments!