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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tidy Tuesday - Encourage independence

Imagine living in a world of giants and being their housekeeper.   The furniture is too tall, the tools are too big and awkward, the drawers too heavy to open.  Everything is designed to fit your basic giant.  I am describing the conditions your preschoolers and young children live with every day.  Not that they are your housekeepers!  But you do expect them to do certain age-appropriate chores and keep their rooms clean and belongings picked up.

If you look at the world from their view, you might find things you can do to make their lives easier.  By doing so, you are helping them to be less dependent on you.  Take the simple step-stool.  My husband made a sturdy step-stool for our oldest when she was about three and all of a sudden, she could wash her own hands by herself, go to the bathroom without a kiddy potty, and of course, get into things she shouldn't.  :)  All my children used that step-stool (which we named Mr. Step-Stool), and I still use it to reach high places. 

What other things can you do to foster independence for your little ones?

What about making their bed?  Could you lower the bed frame or even put the mattress on the floor?  Have you considered exchanging regular blankets and bedspreads for duvets (or comforters) and covers?  They eliminate the need for a top sheet and make bed-making super easy.  Covers can either be bought or made and can instantly change the look of the room for very little money.

How about their clothes storage?  Is the clothing rod hung too high?  Lowering it is easy and allows your children to hang up their own clothes.  Or even more simple...install a row of low hooks along a wall or in the closet and your child can just hang most clothes on hooks. 

Are dresser drawers too high or too heavy?  Try using plastic storage containers for holding clothes.  The containers can either go under the bed or stored on low shelves.

Toys should have their own place (preferably not a toy chest) and be easy to toss toys into.  Again, plastic storage containers are perfect for sorting and storing toys.  Label them well and encourage keeping like items together, although just getting them off the floor might be good enough!

Whatever you can do to make your children's life easier is totally worth it.  They might still drag their feet when told to do something, but at least you have made it possible for them to do it easily.  Try looking at the world from their vantage point and I think you'll find things you can do to that will make living in a giant's world less frustrating.


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