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Involving children in the daily tasks of a household routine are an important way to nurture their independence and develop a strong sense of responsibility and initiative. At Little Partners, our products are built on the founding principle that children naturally want to grow in independence but simply need the safe environment and the encouragement to do so. So, how can parents encourage children to take initiative on age-appropriate tasks? Take it from some of these moms who share what works in their household to save them the frustration of having to constantly pick up after their kids, and ultimately motivate little ones to take responsibility in a way that is a win-win for the whole family.
1. Finding a Kid-Friendly Organizational System
“Every mom who has ever stepped on a Lego asks themselves what more could they be doing to get their kids to pick up after themselves,” writes Debra of Housewife Eclectic. In addition to 7 other principles, she highlights establishing an organizational system that is appropriate for kids. “When my daughter first started school I was always frustrated to find that her jacket and backpack would end up dumped in the bottom of the coat closet. I soon realized that she wasn't trying to frustrate me, she couldn't reach the coat hook.”
2. Taking the Time to Teach Them
Shea at Million Ways to Mother feels that teaching her kids to be independent is one of her most important jobs as a parent, but admits that finding the patience to do so can be the biggest challenge. “I find that it is a catch 22 because even though I want to teach them… it is 1000 times faster to do it myself. Time is a precious commodity these days, so I have to remind myself to teach the kids even if it is going to take more time.”
3. Solving the Daily Mystery of the Missing Shoe
This mom was constantly frustrated by her kids not being able to find things when it was time to go. She found that My First Cubby’s wooden locker system was the solution because it gave them a specific place for all of their items. “When kids have a very distinct place to store things, it seems like they can better manage the responsibility of that item. By providing them with the tools necessary to build their independence, it’s amazing to see their confidence and skills grow.”
4. Embracing the Fact that They’re Growing Up Fast
Casey at Burrito Buzz found her daughter’s blossoming independence to be a huge help for her growing family. “That tiny squishy baby will soon be an independent almost 5 year old faster than you can ever imagine,” she writes in her review of My First Cubby. Her advice? Embrace their desire to want to do more on their own! “Whether it’s getting herself dressed, brushing her teeth by herself, going to the bathroom alone, or simply getting herself a snack, it’s one less thing that I have to do.”