Hacks for Raising Independent Children

If you have a child who insists she can do things “all by myself!” then here are some tips to help you avoid arguments, messes and mini-disasters while raising independent children.

  1. Saving Soap – Twist a rubber band around soap and shampoo dispenser pumps. This will limit the amount of product that your children can get per pump, and still allow them to wash up independently. Since your children won’t be using as much soap and shampoo, you will save money with this tip too!
  2. Right Foot – For the child who can put on his own shoes but has about a 50/50 chance of getting them on the correct foot, cut a sticker in half and put each half inside their shoes. When the two sticker halves line up correctly, the shoes will go on the correct foot.
  3. Condiment Catchall – Picnics are fun, but beware of the ketchup explosion when your independent child adds his own condiments to the hotdogs and hamburgers. Using muffin tins as a condiment container allows children to get just the right amount of ketchup or mustard and still do it themselves.
  4. Call Me – Create a bracelet out of number beads to help your child learn your phone number. During the learning process she can also wear the bracelet when you are out and about and will be able to contact you if she gets lost.
  5. Dress up – Make days of the week tags to slip over your child’s clothes hangers. That way, she can plan her outfits for the week on Sunday evening with your approval, which will allow her to dress herself independently — but still appropriately — for school.
  6. Healthy Start– Set up a breakfast station with single servings of cereal in plastic containers, and transfer milk into an easy pour container so that your little ones can make their own breakfast on the weekends.
  7. On the Potty – For the newly potty trained child who wants to “go” independently, make a sign that reads “that’s enough!” and put it on the wall below the toilet dispenser. This will keep your child from using a mile of toilet paper in a single use, and save you from calling a plumber to unclog your toilet.
  8. Slick Shoes – When your little girl wants to wear slick bottom dress-up shoes to look all grown up, use a glue gun to add a couple of glue dots to the bottom of the shoes. This will help her avoid slipping and falling and help you avoid arguments about what to wear.
  9. Water Fight – Water balloons are a fun part of childhood! Repurpose larger soap or shampoo pump dispensers to create water balloon pumps so that little hands can fill their own balloons.

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