6 Tips to Prepare your Preschooler for Independence




It’s heartwarming, and at the same time frightening, to see your preschooler wanting to feed your beloved pet, tie her own shoes, tinker with your gadget, “repair” a broken toy, or simply be left alone. It makes us proud when you see them try to do things on their own because it shows their longing for independence. But the big question is: Should I really let them do these things on their own?


The following are some of the daily tasks that they can do “alone”. But of course, we can never let them on their own without our care and guidance. These tips may come in handy as we let our preschoolers explore and prepare them for independence.


1. Safety First





It’s no surprise that this is their “age of exploration”. They want to try out things, experience, explore and discover… by themselves. Suddenly the kitchen is not as safe as it used to be. They become interested in operating the stove, opening the fridge or holding the kitchen knife.


In short, things that they didn’t really care about now become interesting. Yes, we want them to experience these things but can’t simply say “no”. All these are part of their development. So now, we draw the line. We just have to set smart limits to let them do these things safely. The most appropriate line that most kids could relate to would be that popular line from the Spiderman movie: “With great power comes great responsibility”. We don’t want to scare them off. Instead, we want to teach them the proper way of going about with things.



2. Care for the Pet




It’s so nice to see them show compassion for your household pet. They would love to feed the dog or cat or fish but, chances are, they will overfeed your pet. Of course, we would not want our beloved pet to suffer from having too much food. So we teach our preschoolers the right amount food our pet needs.


We can still let them feed our pet by preparing proportioned bags or containers of food that they could give during feeding time. We can also tell them to put in the right amount of water into their bowls. It would be perfect to have water in spill-proof bottles near our pets’ bowls to avoid too much spillage. And petting of the dog or cat should be done only if they seem to like it. We must explain the negative effects of overeating and how they might get sick if they do so. Sometimes pets should also be treated the way we treat humans.



3. Meal Time




Our preschoolers always see us prepare their meals. If we can do it, they think that they can do it, too. But we’re afraid that they might get hurt or even start a fire in the kitchen. So, we let them start with a simple breakfast. Keep those no-cook breakfast options such as cereals, cookies, peanut butter and child-safe utensils in places where they can be easily reached. Fruits could also be placed on the table or counter so they will be encouraged to eat healthy at the same time. Milk, juice or water should be put in no-spill containers and placed on the bottom shelf of the fridge for easy access. The use of the microwave oven and stove will come when they’re older.



4. Answer the Door




They become really excited when someone is at the door knocking or ringing the doorbell. And it really helps when you have someone answer the door for you. However, we have that fear of having our child snatched or letting a stranger inside our house. A simple “Who’s there?” without opening the door will do the trick. Then informing an adult inside the household should come next. We can tell them to never open the door by themselves even if the person at the door seems to be someone familiar. We can explain to them that it’s always safer to simply not let anybody in and to ask for our permission first before letting a person in.



5. Bath Time




This is one of the most fun and enjoyable things to do for some of our preschoolers but we worry that they might slip or scorch himself if we let them on their own. Make sure that our hot water heater’s temperature is set to 120 F or lower to avoid burning themselves. We can also teach them how to fill the tub by starting with the cold water then adjusting the temperature with the right amount of hot water. And of course, we should never leave them alone during bath time.



6. Buckle Up




They become overly excited at times when going somewhere and buckling the booster properly can sometimes be ignored. Let them do it on their own then double check after if it was done the right way. It is also okay to unbuckle themselves but it should be done only once the engine is turned off. As the saying goes: “Buckle up for safety”.







© Rise & Shine is established to provide our children with a better opportunities for their upcoming future. Our founding vision was to help and educate parents to nurture healthier, happier and brighter children. As part of what we do, we organise parenting workshops, carnivals and the largest play and educational festival in Asia. We also organise a series of children events throughout the year where families can bond, learn and have fun.



* Required Fields