It wasn’t too long into toddlerhood before my son started the “I DO IT!” phase. You know, the one where you try to put on his shoe and he screams, “I DO IT!” and ten minutes later, you’re internally cursing every shoe that isn’t a Croc? Or where he’s turning into a puddle of mush at your feet at bedtime over tooth brushing, and he’s trying to grab it out of your hand, and you know that one of your jobs as a mother is to prevent cavities?
Sometimes I get frustrated, but then I remember this sage piece of motherhood advice I received–to give your toddler controlled choices as a way to encourage his independence.
Scenario 1: You put down a cup of orange juice in front of your toddler at breakfast and he loses his mind that it’s not apple juice. Hello, tantrum city.
Scenario 2: You ask, “What would you like to drink?” He asks for apple juice. But you only have milk, orange juice, and fruit punch. Hello, tantrum city!
Scenario 3: You ask, “Would you like apple juice or orange juice?” He chooses apple. No tantrums, he feels in control, but you controlled what he chose. Well done, mom!
Here are 9 other ways to easily encourage toddler independence:
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