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Toddlers are amazing little people who bring joy and sometimes chaos to those that care for them, whether talking about parents or educators. During these early years, toddlers grow an incredible amount, gaining knowledge in every new experience they have. At this age, independence is important too - with the required skills to encourage it, able to be gained on early childcare courses. 

In this blog, we’ll be providing you with five effective tips to encourage independence in toddlers, whether you’re coming at the issue from the viewpoint of a parent or childcare professional. By reading to the end, you’ll gain an insight into how to support their growth, while helping them to feel like they’re in control of who they are. 

Tip #1 - Provide Ways For Toddlers to Be Independent

As childcare courses will tell you, between the ages of 2 and 4, children naturally develop a strong sense of their own independence. This should absolutely be encouraged and so, you should give them every opportunity to develop it, whether talking about simply putting their toys away or putting their wellies by the back door. These simple acts make them feel much more in control!

Tip #2 - Give Choices, Rather Than Orders

One surefire way of making a child feel less like they’re being told what to do is to give them choices, rather than issuing orders. Instead of potentially starting a power struggle by saying “Put your clothes on now”, why not say something like “Do you want to put your trousers or top on first?”. It’s a very subtle change, but one that gives the illusion of freedom.

Tip #3 - Offer Sufficient Time For Tasks

A skill that childcare courses can’t equip you with is patience, but it can be invaluable in your quest to encourage independence. Patience in this case takes the form of providing enough time for the toddler in question to finish, as an incomplete task won’t make them feel good about themselves.

When planning any day out or playtime schedule, try and legislate for some extra time, so that they get all they need to complete the job and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes with it. 

Tip #4 - Don’t Do the Job If They’re Able To

Whether talking about putting their shoes and socks on or picking up their toys, you should avoid taking over and doing it for them. Even if you’re getting frustrated about how long it’s taking, try and resist the urge to do it yourself, otherwise, they’ll end up thinking that they don’t actually need to complete the task at all when you’re around. 

Tip #5 - Make Sure the Tasks Are Age-Appropriate

While toddlers develop fast, what they’re given to do needs to be achievable by someone of their age. Even the simplest chore can provide a sense of achievement once completed, so make sure that they’re sticking to things like putting their dirty clothes in the hamper and clearing away toys, rather than anything that’s perhaps beyond them. 

Boost Your Knowledge With Flexible Childcare Courses 

As we can see, there’s quite a bit involved in helping children to feel more independent and we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s required. The good news is that you can learn everything we haven’t covered here with flexible, affordable CPD-approved childcare from OCA!

All of our short courses online are video-based and follow the micro-learning model, meaning that they make learning easy and flexible enough to fit your current obligations. If you’d like to know more about what we offer, simply visit us at where you’ll also find details of our flexible payment options.

However, if you would like to speak to us directly about your career counselling needs, just give us a call on 1300 611 404 and we’ll be more than happy to talk you through your options and answer any questions you may have. 

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