How to learn everything one step at a time

by beagooddad on August 15, 2006

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As kids move from infant to toddler to little kids, parents often have trouble remembering to teach their kids important life skills. It is so easy to put the shoes on Pookie since you are going to have to tie the shoes anyway. And, it is so easy to not let Geetle touch the toothbrush since you are going to have to do the real brushing anyway.

It’s a busy world and sometimes parents have trouble setting aside the little one minute blocks that are necessary to work on these skills.

I like trying to learn one new skill per location at a time.  Trying to learn too much at one time is overwhelming and makes it difficult to learn anything.
A while back we worked on climbing into their car seats on their own. Yesterday, I started working on teaching them to put on their seat belts. To make it easier, I am pulling the seat belt out as far as it will go and they click it into place. After a few tries with this basic movement, they had it figured out. I will keep practicing this one until it becomes second nature and then I will have them start trying to whole thing on their own.

In the bathroom, we just finished learning to spit toothpaste. Now we are working on putting soap on their own hands and rubbing them together.

Geetle already can put on her shoes on and fasten the velcro. Pookie has not picked up that skill yet. I think part of the problem is that his shoes are too small. I picked up a new pair yesterday that should be easier to work with.

When I start feeling to rushed with the kids, I always try to remember to slow myself down and see if any of the things we are trying to do are things that they can start learning. If I invest a little bit of time now, then everything will go that much more quickly in the future and I will be one step closer to having independent children.

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