Independence is one of the greatest things that parents can teach their children. Since moms are usually pressed for time, we often find ourselves just doing things to help just to get things done faster. If you don’t already know, I am all about shaving time from my already crazy schedule. I tried to merge my desire to teach my daughter to be independent with my love for time-saving and organization. Here are some of my favorite little tricks that won’t cost you hours in the morning and help to build your little one’s independence.
Most mornings, it’s a struggle to decide what I’m wearing, let alone what my kid will be wearing. On the other hand, I don’t want to let my child leave the house looking like a crazy person. Enter the clothing drawers. I have each labeled by day and fill each with everything necessary for my daughter to dress herself. I love that she can get dressed completely on her own but in pre-selected clothing that isn’t an explosion of random colors and prints. (Hey, I didn’t say that I gave up my OCD did I?) I put everything from underwear all the way down to the socks, which also helps me to keep new outfits in the rotation.
Are you sensing a theme here? Maybe, but snack bins are the greatest helper on a busy morning. Although I pack more perishables for lunch, snacks are always needed. By putting them at her level, it’s easy for her to see what’s in each bin and saves me time from having to pick them out. I chose three bins and she has to select one snack from each, so she has some variety. By keeping the categories different, I can be sure that she isn’t choosing just three of the same item.
Got complaints when it’s time to clean up and get out of the house? So did I until I tried these chore charts (which you can read more about here.) I definitely wouldn’t start them on the first day of school because they take a little while to get going. Now that we have been using them fairly consistently, I don’t even need to remind my daughter about what she needs to do. Once the chore chart is up, she can start chores on her own and it takes a LOT less reminding than it did before. Definitely helpful for when you are trying to get moving and out of the house during the morning rush.
Breakfast routine chart:
I love organizing meals for the week but breakfast can be so hectic. If you need some ideas on some make-ahead breakfasts, check out this post here. This super easy and no-frills little chart helps me to make sure there is a variety each morning so we don’t get into a rut. We plan the chart together, so that my daughter feels that she has some control over what she eats. This is especially helpful if you have a picky eater (see my helpful hints on picky eaters here). Knowing what’s on the menu helps to take tantrums and arguments completely out of the equation, as there is no back and forth with, “what do you want for breakfast?” It also serves as a reminder for me in case I have to prep something like overnight oats in advance. I don’t add the protein and fruit on this menu, but I do like to keep the carb listed instead. We often use multiple fruits and hard-boiled eggs each morning, so I like to offer her choice there since it simple to cut up some fruit on the spot.
There are so many ways to help foster independence in your children, but these are great for starters. I also love things that help mom to save some time and energy because our jobs are hard enough! What are some ways that you have helped to foster your child’s independence?