Sometimes the baby of the family gets to be babied for much longer, am I right? Caroline is three, and while she always wants to keep up with her big sister, she knows she is the baby and she milks it. I find myself doing a lot of things for her because part of me wants to baby her forever. I know I’ll miss having little kids in the house someday.
There is so much pressure to keep up with it all – it seems to be a race to get our kids to be independent, self-sufficient, and outperforming their peers. We shouldn’t be constantly striving to achieve unattainable standards all of the time. While I do think it’s important for my kids to learn these traits, I think there can be a delicate balance.
Caroline is motivated by doing things by herself, so we try to encourage it. We have started with a few simple tasks around the house (picking out clothes, getting dressed, cleaning up toys, etc.), and at bath time.
Bath time is one place where a three-year-old can learn independence fairly quickly. This doesn’t have to be stressful. Bath time should be fun and easy for everyone. Here’s a couple of stress-free things we do to teach independence at bath time, and hopefully it’ll ease the pressure of always having to do everything perfectly.
Stress-Free Ways to Teach Independence at Bath Time
Encourage them to undress and pick out their pajamas. If they pick out their Halloween pajamas in the middle of March, go with it.
Have them turn on the water. Something about giving a child a small responsibility makes them feel important.
Let them pick out the bath toys they plan to play with. I don’t know about you, but the kids’ bathtub is overrun by toys. As an attempt to ease the clutter, I have been letting the kids pick 3 toys they want to play with during the bath.
Ask them how much time they want to play, and set a timer. Instead of telling them “you get to play for five minutes before we get out,” ask them “how long would you like to play before we have to get out?” More often than not, they will say something like “five minutes” or “three minutes.” I’ll then set a timer on my phone. When the timer goes off, it makes getting out much less of a struggle.
Have them wash their body. Three is not quite old enough to wash their own hair (at least, this has been the case for my girls), but they can be responsible for everything else. We have been using the Ivory Free & Gentle Body Wash with Pear & Sandalwood with the girls, as it is free of dyes and parabens and formulated to nourish the skin with pear and sandalwood. It includes the #1 Dermatologist-Recommended moisturizing ingredient and gentle enough for everyone in the family!
As I’ve mentioned before, we are big fans of the Ivory brand, as they have created 99.44 percent pure soap products for 138 years. Everyone in the family uses the products, as we know we can trust the brand and its ingredients.
Along with the Free & Gentle Body Wash with Pear & Sandalwood, we use the Ivory Original 3 Bar and the Ivory Original Body Wash. Both products are free of dyes and heavy perfumes. All of Ivory’s products provide pure and gentle cleansing, and are perfect for everyone in the whole family.
As my kids grow and learn, I want to provide them with as many stress-free learning opportunities as I can, and also provide them with the highest quality products. What kinds of things do you do to teach your children independence?