Life is busy, and having young children can often slow down our adult schedules. Especially during transitions (leaving the house, leaving a restaurant, leaving the playground…leaving anywhere). One way to support your child’s budding independence and make up a few minutes in the process is to allow your child to do as much for himself as possible. I know, it sounds counter intuitive, however, young children are often more inclined to be a part of the transition if they can be active in the goal. They do not like to be passive members of the family, and they enjoy knowing what their role is. They feel a sense of purpose and accomplishment
In order to be able to get his help in the moment you need it, you must prepare.
The first thing is to show your child how to put on his own shoes, as soon as he starts walking. It is amazing how young children can do this with just the right set up.
There are 3 key pieces to preparing for success:
A place for the shoes – Place your child’s shoes always in a consistent spot, so they know just where to find them; on a rug by the door, in a basket in their room…do what works for your home and keep it consistent.
A place to sit – A child needs a low bench or chair, proportioned just right for his top-heavy body, having a place to sit by the door can help him to balance and focus on one foot at a time.
The right shoes – The right shoes make all the difference. There are so many cute options out there, however this is the time to think of function first! Choose something that your child can easily slide his foot in, without getting the tongue jammed in the toe. In addition to all of that, the part that is going to make this process work is the closure: Velcro or slip-on.
The next step is to show your child where everything is and how to use the space. Show your child this when you are just hanging out at home. Your child may even want to practice over and over. Then the next time you are getting ready to leave the house, ask your child to get his shoes on and tada!…you are out of the house!