Is it Time for a Self-Help Skills Inventory?
Raising independent, self-sufficient children should be a goal for all caregivers. It’s important to take a self-help skills inventory often.
Ask yourself, what am I doing for my children that they could be doing for themselves? What could they learn to do with a little more guidance or time to
In the short term it takes time and patience to teach self-help skills. In the long run, you’ll get this time back as your children do more for themselves & help out more around the house.
I’ll give you an example. With my daughter I held out her under wear for her to step into for so long that by age 6 she was still putting them on backwards or inside out. This was my fault. Hey, it was easier and quicker and I had time to do it with only one child. I learned my lesson. I showed my son twice at age two how to put on his underwear and from then on just handed them to him.
Which brings me to another area. My daughter has been putting away her own laundry for some time now & I thought that my son couldn’t because he couldn’t reach all of his drawers. I had put commonly used clothes like socks, underwear, pajamas and play clothes in the top drawers that were convenient for me. I had out of season and dressier clothes down low. A simple switch made it possible for him to not only put away his own clothes but get them out when asked as well.
Simple rearranging of household items can assist your children in being more independent. Can they reach clean towels in a linen closet? Can they reach cups? Can they reach paper/cloth napkins for setting the table?
Other issues like dressing have more to with time and opportunity than placement. Often putting on shoes or zipping coats are difficult because we only ask them to try when we are ready to go out the door. Give kids more lead time or better yet a chance to practice when there is no pressure at all.
Take some time this week to think about your kids can help themselves & you around the house. Are they setting the table? Clearing it? Even a two year old can throw away paper napkins or collect cloth ones.