Have you got to the point in your parenthood journey where your baby is no longer and baby, but a toddler ruling the roost? Whilst we all as parents want to try and keep our little ones little for as long as possible, it is important to nurture that independent spirit your toddler has. Here are a few ideas for how you can do just that.

Girl with books

Top tips for nurturing independence in toddlers

If you want to encourage your toddler to be a little more independent, there are a few ways that you can get them moving in the right direction. These include:

1. Get them using the toilet! Research potty-training tips for boys and girls, and get them out of nappies ASAP. Using the toilet, or even a potty if that works better for them, is a great way to nurture independence and help them feel more grown up too!

2. Get them involved. This is a great way to not only help them feel more independent but also get some help around the house. There are plenty of chores for children and toddlers, you just need to decide who does what and start delegating.

3. Ask them what they want to do. An easy way to encourage your toddler to be independent is to see what exactly they want to do. They are more likely to try hard to complete a chore or be independent in an area like putting on their socks if it was their idea.

Girl in paint

4. Stop worrying about everything being perfect. Whether you allow them to brush their hair, wash their body or get themselves dressed in the morning; there are a number of areas they can help to sort things on their own. The important thing is to not worry about it being perfect. They are learning, and you need to encourage that!

5. Show them you trust them. Whether it’s asking them to carry a bag of groceries to the kitchen after your weekly food shop or asking them to check the road for cars before crossing, show that you trust them. This doesn’t mean letting them run riot, but it does allow them to feel like you trust them to be independent.

6. Don’t forget to reward them. Whether it’s a whole night dry in pants, eating all the food on their plate, or completing their chores for a week, make sure you reward them. A simple reward chart can be customised and used for any number of rewards of your choice.

7. Consider getting them into a nursery or preschool. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money! Children aged 3 and above in the England qualify for 15-hours funded by the government; and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland offer similar schemes. In some circumstances you may find you qualify for the funding when your toddler is 2, as well as 30 hours instead of 15 if you are working; so, do your research. Allow your child to grow in their own personality, development and independence by spending time away from you.

Toddler in water

So, you now have all the tips you need to encourage your toddler to become more independent; whether you decide to start researching those all-important potty-training tips for boys and girls; or you set them up with chores.

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