I can do things by myself.
Throughout the day, parents, teachers, and children encounter obstacles that present an opportunity for practice and learning. As parents ourselves, Katie and I realize how much easier it is to simply do some of the quick and easy tasks for our young ones. I’m sure there have been many occasions where I simply put my child’s shoes on for him so I could get him out the door in a hurry. We get it. However, beginning around 2 or three our children are capable of and should be expected to accomplish a lot on their own.
In case you’re are still a bit sceptical, here is a list of skills we know *3-5 year olds CAN accomplish on their own:
- Putting on their own:
Clothing, including pants/underpants/shirts/skirts/dresses/socks/mittens
- Opening their own:
Bag of pretzels/muffins/chips (anything that comes in a chip type bag)
Juice boxes (except for Honest Kids…I can’t even open those)
Applesauce (with the exception of those new squeeze bottle ones…who’s idea were those screw-on tops?)
- Personal care:
Bathroom needs (all regular wiping, cleaning routines…unusual accidents understandably require help)
Brushing their own teeth
The good news is we see ourselves as a great practice ground for these new independent experiences. It is much easier for children to adopt unaccustomed roles and routines when they are also in a new environment.
I’m sure my own children take advantage of me whenever they get the opportunity because I’m their Mom. I’ve been there too long and lived through too many routine changes from infanthood to pre-teen. Yet, they would never consider pulling the “I’m too little” card on one of their teachers. (Well, maybe they would, but thankfully the teacher wouldn’t fall for it.)
We are here to help them grow and become more independent as they mature toward the ripe old age of 6.
*Children and adults with true physical challenges might find these tasks more difficult.
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