How to encourage self help skills in kids

by hassan.k@turtletot.com.au Wed Feb 26

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So… we have all read the parenting books, online articles and of course seen super Sallys Facebook posts about how her little Freddy made a moon shape with the homemade, organic, gender-neutral play dough that was made with the finest spring water and expensive essential oils to let them know, he loves them to the moon and back at just 13 months old.

But what happens when you and your baby sleep in because you have been up since 3 am trying to soothe their teething gums and now your late for work but you need to feed the baby before leaving the house and you know it will take around 40 mins for them to feed themselves in the high chair and only 10 mins if you feed them with a spoon ( also diverting a porridge tsunami all over the kitchen walls that won’t be cleaned till 8 pm).

There are no right or wrong moves in this parenting game and the sooner people realise this and drop the pressure, the happier and more content we will all be.

Yes, it’s probably best not to let your baby have a quick sip from the dog’s bowl or tell them what you’re really thinking during their meltdown about wanting a tomato and cheese sandwich and not cheese and tomato sandwich but when it comes to making your day a little less stressful then you need to do what is right for you and your family, after all,

happy parents usually equal happy children.

If you can ( for the majority of the time) encourage your child to do things themselves then i would definitely recommend doing so, why you might ask?

because the quicker they learn, the quicker you don’t have to do it your self.. ;)

In all seriousness though, teaching self-help skills from a young age is more than just an end goal… when a child practices self-help skills such as feeding and dressing themselves, they are exercising their imaginations, refining their fine and gross motor skills, gaining confidence to explore different experiences and by taking increasing responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, the children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing.

But if your mornings are super busy and you only have time to let them fed themselves OR pack away the toys in the playroom then don’t beat yourself up over it, there is no such thing as a perfect parent so just be a real one and enjoy the good, the bad and the mess.

Contributed by Miss Shannon at Turtletot Childcare Bexley