Raising Self Sufficient Kids: 10 Ways to Start Early and Raise Independent Children

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10 Ways to Start Early and Raise Independent Children

Thank you to Primo® for sponsoring this post and helping me raise more self-sufficient kids! 

I have a toddler who is super independent and loves to do everything “all by myself!” as often as possible. But, every parent knows that sometimes it’s just faster and easier to take care of things on your own. When baby number two was coming I realized it was time to help my toddler learn to be more independent.
Raising self-sufficient kids is so important to me and transitioning to two made me realize how important it is to help them learn independence early.

This past year I’ve taken advantage of his independent attitude and mustered up a little more patience to help him learn to help himself. It’s all been worth it because self-sufficient kids make life so much easier in the long run!

If you’re hoping to help your toddler or preschooler be more independent, here’s a bunch of tasks they can do that will make both your lives so much easier!

10 Ways to Raise Self-Sufficient Kids: Starting Early with Your Toddler

Self-Sufficient Kids: Eating

Make snacks easy and accessible. It’s amazing how many times one human can ask for a snack in a day, isn’t it? I decided to cut the middleman (me) and create some bins in the bottom of our pantry with (mostly) healthy snacks I was comfortable with him helping himself to. It’s been a game changer!
He knows what’s available and he can grab it himself. But best of all, when the baby came, and I was on the couch nursing him, my toddler could still feed himself. It has been the best thing to make both our lives easier and help him feel in control of his food.

10 Ways to Raise Self-Sufficient Kids: Starting Early with Your Toddler

Self-Sufficient Kids: Eating

  1. Make snacks easy and accessible. It’s amazing how many times one human can ask for a snack in a day, isn’t it? I decided to cut the middle man (me) and create some bins in the bottom of our pantry with (mostly) healthy snacks I was comfortable with him helping himself too. It’s been a game changer!
    He knows what’s available, he can grab it himself. But best of all, when a baby came and I was on the couch nursing him, my toddler can still feed himself. It has been the best thing to make both our lives easier and help him feel in control of his food.
    Raising Self Sufficient Kids

    1. Get their own water.
      I’m a firm believer in drinking half your weight in water every day! Our whole family works hard to do this, including our toddler! I was being asked to refill water bottles every time I was holding a baby, or we were headed out the door. So basically, the worst timing possible.
      Teaching our toddler how to get his own water:
      The easiest way to do this is to get an in-home water dispenser. And, the Primo Deluxe Bottom Loading Water Dispenser with Self-sanitization is perfect for families with kids! The bottom loading eliminates lifting, flipping, and spilling. There’s fast-flowing ice cold, cool, and hot water. And I really love that the self-cleaning function sanitizes your dispenser with harmless ozone technology. Parents know that anything to help you clean with kids is a great thing!
  2. Kid-Friendly Water Dispenser

    Did you know adding a water dispenser to your kitchen (home) results in families drinking 25% more water? It’s such a great way to get the whole family hydrated, and also to make access to filling up a water bottle easier for a preschooler/toddler who is trying to be more independent.
    I love that the buttons are on top, so babies and younger toddlers would need a little help and can’t easily make a mess. But they are truly at the right spot for a toddler who is ready to take charge and can be taught where to reach up for a drink.
    Raising self-sufficient kids
    I love Primo water quality! Primo water goes through a multi-step purification process that includes reverse osmosis, so it tastes amazing and you know you’re getting water that you’ll feel good about your little person drinking!
    Each 5-gallon bottle saves 1100 single-use bottles from the landfill (or worse, the oceans), so it’s helping the environment! Each family member has their own special water bottle at home, and we can fill and reuse all day. We put our toddler’s in plain sight and reach, and he can access water whenever he needs to!

    self sufficient kids

    Right now, use the promo code: WATERGOALS25 to receive 25% off your dispenser, FREE fast shipping, and a FREE coupon will be mailed for a 5-gallon bottle of Primo water, and another will be in the box when delivered!

    Self-Sufficient Kids: CLOTHING

  3. Plan their clothes. Every night we look up the weather for the next day together. While he’s putting on pajamas we talk about what kind of clothes he should wear for the weather and the activities the following day. Together, we choose his entire outfit that will work and matches. He feels in control, I get to guide the crazy outfits to be at least a little more matching. It’s a win/win. Which leads to more independence with…
  4. Getting dressed.
    In the morning, it’s amazing how kids can be an independent dresser! My son can put on his clothes all by himself that we laid out the night before. I’m being more careful in clothing purchases so this is possible. Easy dressing items have made him feel so in control and independent. Clothes that have a clear front and back side help too.
    I really love button-up shirts for little boys, and he’s actually learned to button and unbutton by age 3! I may have to correct a few misaligned now and then, but he has so much confidence mastering this skill! Each day he comes in excited showing me he’s all dressed and ready for the day.
  5. Help with laundry. I was shocked when my toddler first asked about helping with laundry. I did not want that desire to be squashed! So I asked him to help sort. It turns out he’s great at sorting colors and lights. He’s fantastic at organizing all the clean clothing by category; ie. a shirt pile, an underwear pile, etc. He’s even learning to fold and to put things away in the proper drawer.
    I’m so glad we started early with loading the washer and playing “Find every shirt in the pile” because the older he gets, the more self-sufficient kids he’s becoming.
    Self sufficient kids: 10 ways to raise them

    Self-Sufficient Kids: Leaving the House

  6. Shoes and socks.
    I cut the cute laced sneakers about a year ago. I love them, but it was too much for a pregnant mom to bend over and fix a hundred times a day. Velcro is our best friend for shoes. Additionally, flip-flops and sandals he can buckle have also been amazing.
    Yes, this is part of dressing in the morning. However, any toddler/preschooler parent knows shoes and socks seem to come off and on dozens of times a day. Help them help themselves with shoes they can master.
  7. Teach them how to help buckle their car seat.
    Most little hands can’t do all the buckles, and parents definitely need to check every time. But teaching my son to grab all the straps and have the top buckle buckled helps so much! I don’t dig for straps, I can adjust the top buckle to be at the armpit level it’s supposed to be at, and I only have one more snap to do. He loves feeling like a big helper. I love that it saves me a few minutes every single trip!

    Self-Sufficient Kids: Autonomy at Home

  8. Pick up toys.
    I think this is the easiest one to start early! Teach them if they played with it, they need to pick it up. The more you enforce it, the more of a self-sufficient kid habit it becomes.
    toy storage ideas
  9. Put away and retrieve household items.
    I love asking my son to go grab the comb so I can do his hair. He can grab his little brother a diaper if I ask. I really love that he knows how to put most things where they go. It takes a minute of walking him through or explaining, but he’s learning great direction following skills and he’s the best helper!
  10. Wash hands.
    It’s amazing how a small step stool, a soap that’s easy to push, and a little knowledge about how to use a faucet make all the difference! Potty time, before and after meals, and anything sticky is no longer a nuisance. It’s a small thing that really helps your kid feel more autonomy!

This is a sponsored post with Primo, all opinions are my own.

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