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The Independent Child

It's a goal we all strive for, an independent child.  But how is that achieved?  Here are some simple household changes you can make to move your child along the path of independence.  

1) Is it time to buy a new fridge?  Get one with water & ice access on the outside of the door.  Move cups to a drawer or shelf right next to the fridge and teach your children how to use it.  Independence: no more "I'm thirsty!"

2) Granola bars on the bottom shelf of the pantry.  What breakfast foods do you approve of?  What snacks do you not mind between meals (ex: raisins, beef jerky)?  Make room for them on kid-level and put some plastic bowls next to the snacks.  Independence: no more "I'm hungry!" and the older kids can get cereal for the younger ones in the morning, giving you 5 more minutes in the shower.

3) Laundry baskets with their name on it.  Pick a day of the week that is that child's "laundry day".  Work together with him to load the washer and dryer.  When the clothes are clean, put them on your child's bed and fold together.  After a month of helping, have the child fold and put away on their own.  Independence: no more "I have nothing to wear!"

4) Timer toothbrushes.  Tired of supervising the night-time routine?  Invest in the electric toothbrushes that automatically run for 2 minutes.  Some even play songs.  Check out "Tooth Tunes Musical Toothbrushes" for such songs as "Rock Star" and "I want to Rock and Roll all night".

We could go into detail about homework, lunch packing, straightening the house and more… but for now, let's start with these top four leaps of independence and enjoy the little moments of teaching our baby birds how to fly.