It’s no secret that my little lady, Lila, is my BABY. I have defiantly been known to be a helicopter parent because I am pretty much that girl’s shadow. Since she is my first and only kid I have been keen on not missing a moment. I mean, not missing a single moment. She spends nearly one hundred percent of her time with me. I rarely will have my mom watch her for any reason. I can’t explain why I feel so attached to her, I just never want to be without her. Does anybody else feel that way?
Now that Lila is in full on kid mode I wanted to share with you ways that I have been encouraging her independence in different ways around the house. It’s hard for me sometimes to stop myself from just doing everything for her.
In The Kitchen
- If I am cooking in the kitchen, I give Lila a special title of “Kitchen Helper.” She begs to be called this and will do anything I ask as long as she is referred to by this nickname. Figuring this out was a game changer in getting her excited to help out.
- While in the kitchen I will ask her help for getting ingredients out the refrigerator. She can reach even the highest shelf in our fridge so unless something is really far back or blocked by a lot of other items, she can grab things with ease.
- When the ingredients are being chopped or mixed I try to include her as much as possible while still being safe. Her favorite thing to do is pour pre-measured ingredients into bowl or mix with spoon in bowl.
- When lunch is getting cooked I will hand her items to put items in trash. She really loves putting things in the trash can and my husband will ask her to do this from all over the house.
- One thing I have never done is fed Lila. You know like put some on a spoon and fly it into their mouth pretending it’s an airplane? Not me. Ever since Lila started eating solid food I put her plate in front of her with a fork/spoon and let her have at it. At first mealtime was pretty messy, but the better her hands got with utensils the less messy it became. Since she has never had help, she doesn’t expect it. She is very independent when it comes to eating and even picking what she is hungry for.
- I usually will offer two options and let her pick. This makes it easy because she has control over what she is eating while I get to pick what the options are. We do this for snacks and full meals.
- When mealtime is over Lila will actually ask for a wipe and wipe her own face. It is something she started doing all on her own and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She sometimes needs help with her hands and if she asks I will help her.
- I have shared this before but Lila’s Montessori closet has a clothing rack with all of her available options. The majority of her outfits that she wears inside or outside daily are all created by her. I do monitor which selections go on the rack, but when it comes to picking outfits it is all her. Unless we are taking photos where she needs to be wearing a specific outfit. I really do try to never go against her outfit choices once they have been picked out.
- Things that she can do by herself while getting dressed/undressed include:
- pulling her shirt off of her head
- pushing her arms through sleeves
- pulling her socks off
- putting her shoes on
- pulling her shoes off
- putting shoes in the shoes basket by our front door
- I have shared this before but Lila’s Montessori closet has a hamper where she puts her own clothes in a dirty bin after they have been worn.
- When the bin fills up she will help me transfer the clothes from bin to washer, washer to dryer, and dryer to bin.
- We are having a hard time learning how to fold without turning the clothing into scrunched up piles. We will get there! haha. (Tips welcomed!)
In The Bathroom
- Washing hands is something that I do need to watch her do because she is up on a high stool. But she does the water and soap all on her own.
- Letting me know she needs a new diaper. She will always tell me when she needs a new diaper and even go and get one for me to change her. Potty training is around the corner and that’s a whole new ball game.
- This is simple but I always let her pick which towel to use when she gets out of the bath. She will pick it before hand and we use it when she needs to dry off.
I hope you enjoyed these simple ways I am encouraging independence at home. We are adding to the list everyday it seems that before I know it I’ll have a little citizen on my hands.
*Photos by Rebecca Orlandini Photography
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