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Parents can significantly foster independence in toddlers by providing a host of valuable experiences and ample opportunities.  

To bring about the desired level of maturity and independence, parents need to provide their kids the right activities at the right time. A child is well on the road to independence, when there is plenty of encouragement from caring adults.

 The joy of accomplishment your toddler will experience at every step of his development, will give him a fresh impetus to explore and meet with further challenges at the next level. However, you will need to use caution; if independence is forced on your child too early, it could have an adverse effect.  

Here below are FIVE important ways by which parents can foster independence in toddlers:

 1.Look out for the built-in drive:  

 Children have a well-defined built-in drive to move towards independence. During the toddler years, your child may display an innate curiosity to discover varied experiences--- for example how things taste, smell or feel.  Parents need to look for these signs of readiness and encourage accordingly when a child takes the initiative to venture out doing things on his own. Timely awareness by parents is the key to fostering independence.  

 2.Encourage exploration:

The period of "terrible twos" is an age of exploration for your child. This is the time when your toddler will begin to explore the environment and the world around him. Wise parents would "let go" and allow the child to freely find out for himself what he can do. This could be in any area of child development---like his attempt to pull up and stand or walk. It is these small steps towards independence on which your toddler's confidence can be built.  

 3.Develop Autonomy:

A toddler, who is freely allowed to blossom without undue restrictions, soon attains a considerable amount of independence. However, as much as he wants to forge ahead, your child will continue to need assurances and appropriate responses from you. As soon as your toddler begins to gain mobility, a sense of autonomy and independence develops. He will gain independence as he begins to walk and climb, grasp things and indulge in other physical activities that entail free choice. Look for the appropriate signs.

 4.Believe in your Child:

The toddler years are perhaps the best years for parents to begin believing in their child's capability to do things on his own. During this period, parents can help foster independence by teaching their child self-help skills like dressing and undressing, brushing teeth, toileting and feeding. It's best not to hold off teaching these; but take time to be supportive and encouraging. By being close at hand to admire and applaud your toddler's accomplishments, you can positively promote his self-esteem.  

 5.Maintain the Right Balance:    

Your toddler's ability to be comfortable at every new step he takes towards independence is crucial; guide and support your child whenever a need is demonstrated. Children, who are pushed into premature independence by over stimulation, may be at risk. These children would feel inadequate and not good enough to meet their parent's expectations. Maintaining the right balance is the key.  

 *In conclusion:

The toddler years are indeed the best years to build the bonds of companionship with your child. By taking time and interest to offer your child plenty of opportunities to learn new things, meet new people and confront new situations, you can directly help in fostering your toddler's independence.  

Independence is a process; its successful outcome requires observation, attention and loving firmness on part of parents.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Gool Bugwadia wrote Jun 15, 2009
    • Hi Fabulous Folks!

      Welcome to your ‘Informed Parenting’ blog.

      Do you have a toddler in your house? Or perhaps someone in your family has one.

      Although this fortnight’s article dwells particularly on toddlers, some of the key elements could be effectively applied to all children.

      Do take time to share your views and any additional tips you may have with us here.

      Have a GREAT day!  

      gabby



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Jun 15, 2009
    • We also give our 3 1/2 year old granddaughter, who lives with us, ways to help around the house. She brings dishes to the sink, she puts her toys away, she is expected to clean up after herself. Her mom also does this with us but when she is at her other grandmother’s house, which she is a lot, everything is done for her. She has no rules there. She is in total control of the adults in that house. It’s hard because we then have a period of time when we have undo what is done over there. But we persevere.  

      This is a good blog. I appreciate the information you presented here.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Gool Bugwadia wrote Jun 15, 2009
    • Hello Cynthia!
      How nice we meet again—-virtually at least!

      Thank you so much for your taking the time to read my blog.

      You are absolutley right.Consistency is very important in the follow-up process. However, if you & your daughter stay firm on this issue, I’m sure your little one will soon learn the ropes—-for you are the role models whom she looks up to.

      I was delighted to visit your blog again——I must say your chocs look soooooooo temptingly delicious. I will pass on your recipes to my daughter-in-laws. Thank you!

      I also want to CONGRATULATE you on your successful ventures at the weddings. How wonderful!

      Will again visit your blog as/when time permits.
      God Bless!
      gool

      http://www.gabby-splendor.blogspot.com/



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Jun 15, 2009
    • My son is now 18 next week and thank God I am not grandparent yet.  Do animals count????  

      I miss the toddler years.  I wish I could relive that over and over again.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Gool Bugwadia wrote Jun 15, 2009
    • Hi !
      I understand how you must feel. Toddlers can be fun to be with and play with.

      Each stage of parenting has its ups and downs; it all lies in your perception.

      Wow—-an eighteen-year old can bring in lot of joys and frustrations. It all depends on many factors—-most important being your upbringing.

      Your teen is on the threshold of adulthood. Enjoy ad savor the precious moments together.
      gabby



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carolnphil wrote Jun 15, 2009
    • I think most of us are in the grandparenting years.  I’m 46 and my granddaughter is 2.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Gool Bugwadia wrote Jun 15, 2009
    • Hi Carol!
      Thanks for the visit. How wonderful to know you are a grandparent of a two-year old!

      I am sure you are enjoying the thrills and joys of grandparenting.

      I sure will visit your website—-what a noble endeavor.
      God Bless!
      gabby



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