I consider myself a very Do-it-yourself mom. Every time my girl asks me if she can do something on her own, I tell her, “Yep, do it yourself!”
Our belief is that being independent is the ultimate goal. And as much as we are tempted to, we have to avoid helping her with something she can do on her own.
And because all her chores are child-led, there is dignity of labour and fewer refusals and arguments to do chores.
Age appropriate chores: 0-1
How can an infant be independent? It can’t because she is dependent on us for even her basic needs. But once she turned 6 months , we went the baby- led weaning way. To date, she eats on her own, with us. We get to enjoy our meal happily. But more importantly, she is very keenly attuned to her tummy, and is able to decide exactly how much quantities she needs. Between 9-12 months, a lot of kitchen sorting, choosing own clothes or cloth diapers, putting toys and books away, choosing own toys, etc happened.
Independence in 1-2 years
These are the chores a 1-2 year old can help with or do on their own.- Measuring/ pouring kitchen ingredients
– Matching sock pairs
– Helping out with drying clothes
– Putting toys and books away
– Dusting their play area
– Choosing their own clothes
Chores for 2-3 years
Here are some chores V enjoys doing between 2-3 years of age.
– Watering plants
– Turning soil
– Cutting cheese/ paneer/ bread/ steamed veggies
– Folding napkins
– Setting the table
– Pouring water into tumblers
– Washing her own plates and cutlery
– Drying washed cutlery
– Sweeping her play space
-Packing and unpacking her bag
– Wearing and removing their shoes
– Dressing and undressing independently
And none of this was thrust upon her. Every time she would ask if she could help or do something independently, we just said yes. It is a little difficult, because sometimes we can get the same job done better and quicker. But then, that would mean we wasted that golden opportunity when the toddler was interested.
Why raise independent children?
Children who are independent are confident of their choices.
They have better cognition and motor skills and have the ability to make decisions for themselves. They also take responsibility for their actions and have an intrinsic sense of discipline.
Lastly, The relationship between the parent and child is so much more easier and non-controlling.