Ministry of Education, Guyana

How to Encourage Development & Independence in Toddlers

During the toddler years, children begin to develop a desire to do things for themselves. Parents should encourage this desire and help them to learn how to do basic things such as self feeding, getting dressed and making choices. With plenty of praise, toddlers will develop a strong self-esteem and believe in their abilities to care for themselves and learn.

Provide consistent love and support so that your child develops a solid sense of attachment and self-esteem, allowing him to believe in himself and his abilities.

Allow her time each day to play quietly without your help. Supervise her, but just watch quietly and allow her to use her toys however she wants.

Encourage him to try new activities and build new skills, such as drawing or playing toddler instruments.

Allow her to feed herself during meals and snack time. Encourage finger feeding, along with the use of toddler utensils.

Provide him with many opportunities to make a choice between two options. For example, when choosing his outfit in the morning, ask him to pick one shirt or another.

Let her imitate you and practice taking care of herself in ways like brushing her own hair or teeth. Allow her to dress and undress herself once she learns how.

Praise him when he does things for himself and learns new skills.


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