For the mom with multiple little ones, accomplishing even the simplest task can prove extremely challenging. We are always interrupted by little voices shouting our name, each wanting an immediate answer to their questions or help with what they are doing.
We believe that they are too small to do anything for themselves and feel guilty for even wondering if they could possibly do a few tasks on their own, not because we don’t want to do it for them but because there’s only one of us and several of them.
The good news is that if a child can do something, he should do it! There are a multitude of abilities our preschoolers are gaining each day as their little brain develops. For instance, with a bit of preparation the night before, your 3-4 year old can fix his own breakfast. Fill a plastic bowl with cereal and cover with Saran or foil, leaving it on the table with a spoon the night before. Put some milk in a small, unbreakable creamer and place it in the refrigerator on a low shelf. In the morning, your little ones can retrieve the creamer from the fridge and “fix” their own cereal, allowing you some time to eat your own breakfast guilt free.
Put together some outfits for your tots by rolling together shirt, pants, underwear and socks. Place the rolls in the drawer. Then they can choose any roll to wear for the day and it will match and be presentable.
I recently spoke to one genius mom who decided to toss all her preschooler’s colored/printed socks and replace them all with identical white ones. Then they always match and the kids can even put pairs together to help Mom with the laundry!
Allowing our little ones to participate in their own care gives them a sense of accomplishment in their developing independence and in their contributions as Mommy’s little helpers. Rather than feeling guilt because you aren’t doing it all fast enough, you can feel pride and satisfaction that comes with helping your kids develop physically and emotionally. It makes for a more peaceful environment for the whole family.
What tasks have you found your preschooler can do on his or her own? Share it with us in the comments section below.