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Simple Changes = Independence and Responsibility for our Pre-Schooler

on March 31, 2012

My little pre-schooler has always been fiercely independent.  Since she was a baby, she has wanted to do things herself.  She would let you demonstrate something for her to copy, but she didn’t want you holding her hands to do it.  The other night she let me know she didn’t want the “little” (toddler) forks anymore.  She wanted to use the big forks.  This and many other small instances led me to make a few small organizational changes in our house to help her be a little more independent.

Kitchen:  I saw on http://www.iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/ a post from Jen about making a kiddie cabinet.  At the time, I didn’t pay it much thought, but with her growing independence streak, I thought my daughter would benefit from a cabinet of her own where she could get to her dishes and cups.  I switched the contents of a low cabinet with her dishes and voila!  Instant kiddie cabinet.  It has worked out really well so far.  She can now get a drink on her own if she wants one (we have a Britta water bin in the fridge) and pick out her plate for meals.  And, I no longer need to bend down and search for my veggie steamer or colanders.

Bedroom:  We have a tall four drawer dresser for my kiddo’s clothes.  Previously, the bottom drawer was used for items of clothing that were seasonal, hats, back packs, etc.  The top drawer held her pajamas and underthings.  Again, I just switched the contents of her drawers.  Super easy!  She thought I was a little crazy at the time, but it has worked out well.  She even had to tell her grandma that “Sometimes mom comes in and moves things around in my room and organizes stuff.”  So funny, but so true!

With our bedroom and kitchen independence makeovers, I thought it might be good to give kiddo her own set of “chores” to do to give her a sense of responsibility as well.  She now has a few simple items to do each day or as needed.

1)  Put away her clean dishes when I empty the dishwasher.

2)  Put away her clean clothes after the laundry is folded.

3)  Every night, she uses our stick vac to vacuum under and around the table.

4)  Each night, she gets to pick out her own pajamas and her clothes for the next day (with a little guidance in regards to weather and planned activities).

So far everything is working well.  I am excited for these changes and so is she.  As she gets a little older, we will continue to add on a few chores here and there.  I think it’s good to have her help out around the house, plus she gets such a sense of pride from doing so.  Two simple changes led to good feelings all around.

***UPDATE***

To help kiddo put her clothes away on her own, I created labels for her dresser (see Label Love post).  We are also working on making labels for her toy bins to help during clean-up time. So far, they are working very well!

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