development of toddlers

Teaching Toddler Independence & Toothbrushing

March 14, 2012

As we approach having two children, I contemplate how SuperBoy’s natural inclination toward independence will play out. He will be almost 2 years old by the time his sister arrives. And although he loves to do things on his own, and we encourage him, on the whole, he is accustomed to having assistance with most things. Slowly but surely AA and I have been working on independence in particular areas: feeding himself, picking out his clothing, getting things ready for a diaper change (and putting them away), brushing his teeth, and self-selected play. 1) Feeding himself. He sometimes spends breakfast on my lap, eating his oatmeal & yogurt & fruit combo while we read the paper or a magazine together. Yes, his favorite subscription is Hockey Quarterly (or whatever it’s called that my dad brings over)–he likes to point out all the hockey gear. But he’s just as happy to sit on one of our chairs at the table as well. Occasionally he still eats in his high chair, but that’s more so I can maneuver laundry, chores, and the dogs without him sharing his entree with them (yes, he likes to do this too . . . mostly on their heads). We’ve tried a little person sized table and chair, but one issue I’ve encountered is that some of his plates and bowls don’t have no-skid bottoms so food ends up eluding him. Forks, spoons, cups without tops, finger food, you name it and he likes to explore it.…

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