Teaching Toddlers These Important Life Skills
Kids adore independence (the tantrum they just had overdoing it alone, yes, that one), it makes them feel like big kids, and independence is something they want. Giving in does not imply doing major, risky things like allowing them to cut vegetables with a knife simply because they want to. It’s about making tiny decisions for oneself that they can subsequently act on. Here are some suggestions for gently encouraging them to use their newfound independence to teach them basic life skills.
Have you ever noticed how ready preschoolers and toddlers are to assist? My kids still amaze me by how much they like pulling weeds and helping out in the yard; they even requested their own broom and dustpan to clean up after themselves. It was a bit of a nuisance at first since they were more interested in making a mess than assisting, but as I showed them how to help, they really took it up and now help themselves.
What are your life skills? Yes, life skills for little children are basic and straightforward to execute. Here are a few simple chores that kids can complete on their own.
This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.
Want to learn how to get your kids to listen without nagging, yelling or losing control?
–>check out this free parenting class<–
Life Skills All Toddlers Should Know
Select a Snack
Make a snack bin for yourself and store it in the lowest area of your pantry or a lower cabinet that is easily accessible. They can reach the snack bin and pick a snack for themselves when it’s snack time. A slice of fruit is a favourite of ours, but if they can access the refrigerator, a special container with reachable yoghurt or string cheese works nicely as well.
Obtain a Drink
If you have a refrigerator with a water dispenser, it appears that you accumulate hundreds of water bottles and glasses when you have children. Keep a basket or container of water bottles or cups on a lower cupboard that childrens may access and fill up without the assistance of a parent. Allow them to fill their own cup with water from the fridge when they’re thirsty, or pre-fill water bottles and store them in the fridge so they can access it when they’re thirsty.
Hang a lower clothing pole in the closet and keep their things within reach so they may choose shirts, sweaters, dresses, and other items.
Dressers should be organized so that children may choose their own clothes. I’ve even seen stickers that you can paste on the exterior of each drawer to indicate if it stores shirts, pants, or other items. It’s preferable to use a lower dresser for this; a tall dresser won’t work as well.
Make a station for jackets and shoes. If you don’t have a lot of room, a basic wall hanger with 4-5 hooks and a shoebox or mud tray would suffice. We have a little stoanger cubby in our gaanger where we keep coats and shoes so the kids may choose and put on their own shoes and jackets before leaving the house and when we come home.
When children dress themselves, they do not want to change, and you do not want to argue with them about it since it is one of those toddler tantrums that may quickly develop. To avoid your kids wearing shorts and flip-flops in a snowstorm, rotate seasonal clothing and only store in-season items in drawers. I package up the season’s size, mark it, and keep it in the basement for hand-me-downs or whether the size will still be available next season.
Help Put Away The Laundry
Make it simple for them to do so and thank them for their assistance along the process. Sort their clothing into tiny heaps by the basics – socks, underwear, pants, shirts, and so on – once you’ve folded the wash. Show them how to place each tiny pile in the right drawer by placing it on the floor or on their bed in their room.
Place a wash basket in their room and remind them to put their clothing in it every time they change. They’re not just cleaning up after themselves, but they’re also learning the laundry cycle – dirty, clean, put away – and they’re a part of both.
What You Should Do Next:
1. Subscribe To My Parenting NewsletterSign Up For My Parenting Newsletter for tips on creating a happier home and becoming a more positive parent. As a bonus when you subscribe you’ll get a copy of my FREE Growth Mindset Printout For Kids which is the KEY to raising resilient kids with a growth mindset.
2. Register For A Pretty Awesome FREE 60-Minute Class:Register for a free class called GET KIDS TO LISTEN THE RIGHT WAY; an exclusive FREE class from nationally recognized parenting coach, Amy McCready.
3. Sign Up For A 7 Step Positive Parenting CourseEnroll now in the most in-depth parenting class. After discovering these common sense, easy-to-implement, research-based tools you can learn how to:
- Easily get kids to listen – the FIRST time. No yelling or reminding…not even once!
- Put an end to daily power struggles. Bedtime became a breeze, and all the dawdling, chore wars, sibling rivalry, and mealtime meltdowns disappeared.
- Reduce backtalk by HALF! It’s simple once you know the secrets of these two ‘buckets.’
- Say goodbye to punishments that DON’T work. There’s a 5-step formula that works WAYYY better than time-outs.
- Feel amazing, confident, and empowered as a parent, every day. I NEVER go to bed feeling guilty anymore! (Okay, well maybe sometimes…’ mom guilt’ is still a thing.)
- 2.Potegal M, Davidson R. Temper tantrums in young children: 1. Behavioral composition. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2003;24(3):140-147. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12806225
- 3.Greenough WT, Black JE, Wallace CS. Experience and Brain Development. Child Development. Published online June 1987:539. doi:10.2307/1130197
- 4.Porges SW, Furman SA. The early development of the autonomic nervous system provides a neural platform for social behaviour: a polyvagal perspective. Inf Child Develop. Published online April 22, 2010:106-118. doi:10.1002/icd.688
- 5.Gunnar MR. Quality of Early Care and Buffering of Neuroendocrine Stress Reactions: Potential Effects on the Developing Human Brain. Preventive Medicine. Published online March 1998:208-211. doi:10.1006/pmed.1998.0276
- 6.Denham SA, Blair KA, DeMulder E, et al. Preschool Emotional Competence: Pathway to Social Competence? Child Development. Published online February 2003:238-256. doi:10.1111/1467-8624.00533
- 7.Spinrad TL, Eisenberg N, Cumberland A, et al. Relation of emotion-related regulation to children’s social competence: A longitudinal study. Emotion. Published online 2006:498-510. doi:10.1037/1528-3522.214.171.1248
- 8.Trentacosta C, Shaw D. Emotional Self-Regulation, Peer Rejection, and Antisocial Behavior: Developmental Associations from Early Childhood to Early Adolescence. J Appl Dev Psychol. 2009;30(3):356-365. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20161105
- 9.Morris AS, Silk JS, Steinberg L, Myers SS, Robinson LR. The Role of the Family Context in the Development of Emotion Regulation. Social Development. Published online May 2007:361-388. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9507.2007.00389.x
- 10.Schore A. Attachment and the regulation of the right brain. Attach Hum Dev. 2000;2(1):23-47. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11707891
- 11.Denham SA, Mitchell-Copeland J, Strandberg K, Auerbach S, Blair K. Motivation and Emotion. Published online 1997:65-86. doi:10.1023/a:1024426431247
- 12.Derryberry D, Tucker DM. Neural mechanisms of emotion. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Published online 1992:329-338. doi:10.1037/0022-006x.60.3.329
- 13.Hariri A, Bookheimer S, Mazziotta J. Modulating emotional responses: effects of a neocortical network on the limbic system. Neuroreport. 2000;11(1):43-48. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10683827
- 14.Eisenberger NI. The Neural Bases of Social Pain. Psychosomatic Medicine. Published online 2012:126-135. doi:10.1097/psy.0b013e3182464dd1
- 15.Tucker D, Luu P, Pribram K. Social and emotional self-regulation. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1995;769:213-239. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8595027
- 16.N/a N. Temper tantrums. Medline Plus. Published 2016. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001922.htm