A lot of us parents say how we wish time would slow down and that our kiddos will always be our baby. I get it, every time I turn around it seems like they boys are in a new size clothing or hurdling over the next big milestone. I stop for a quick second and ask where did the baby go? However, it is not about us as parents or our “need” or want to keep our kiddos babies forever.
It is our job and of utmost importance to build self help skills in our children. Not only does it make our life so much easier for our little ones to be helping with the basic factors of getting the day going but, it helps them become confident and self-reliant to be able to do for their selves a little. Below are five things that I think every three-year-old needs to be introduced to in regards to self-help skills and why they are important.
- Potty training
Potty training is not an easy task at all and requires a lot of planning out and packing to make this task become a success. But it is also one of the major steps of becoming independent to a little person. It is their first introduction into being able to make a call and choice of their own.
- Picking out clothes
Talk about handing of the reins. Allowing a child to express their selves through clothing is a big step for everyone involved. We have all seen those kiddos in underwear over their pants, rainboots and a swimsuit top. But it is okay because your child has been given a choice and can also learn about weather appropriate clothing and help with prepping themselves for the next day. We always pick out our outfits the night before so we are able to do the next self help skill.
- Getting dress
This self-help skill really focus on patience and self-soothing to get through out. But oh the wonderful independence gained by dressing yourself is priceless for a little person. This skill at first will take time to guide and talking through. Buttons, zippers, and buckles can be frustrating at first. Do not give up because once this self-help skill is mastered you get to sit back and enjoy getting yourself ready while your little does the same. Being able to independently pull their pants up and down is a skill your child will need before you can start potty training.
- Clean up after self and basic household chores
No one likes to feel like they are picking up constantly and doing all the household chores. This self-help skill is important to teaching helping out and being apart of the household. This includes putting clothes in dirt laundry basket, clearing their plate from meals, picking up toys after they have used them. Our job as parents is not to cater to our children none stop but guide them in the skills necessary to become amazing adults.
Child Success Advocate
Lead Preschool Teacher