The Independent Toddler

Two ideas that helped mold the way we currently run our home concerning our little ones.

Your child is part of the family (or household).  You don’t revolve around the child, the child comes into the family (or household).

Give children opportunities to explore, choose, and act.  Put things on their level that they can use when they want to.  Give them items that fit their size and let them help you. 

These ideas are from two different sources, but they go together.  If your child is a part of the family and household, then the house is theirs, too!  It is not just an 18 year hotel.  If your home is filled with things that make you constantly yell “Don’t touch that!” “Put that down!” “You’re going to break that!” to your little one, they will not only  be hearing it quite often (and you are sure to get sick of saying it), but it will feed the base idea that it is not truly their home.  Along with that, if they can not get items they use at their own level, they will not have opportunities to have a thought, act, and and fulfill a goal.  Little children love to help mom and dad, and if given the “freedom” to do so, they will flourish. This “freedom” is controlled by the parents and changes as children get older and learn new skills. A closed door might keep dangerous items out of reach to a very little one, but where they can explore is “freedom” to them.  You will naturally have items that are safer out of a child’s hands.  And making a “free-home” doesn’t mean doing away with those items.  It just means being smart with what you have.  Teach little ones the meaning of no, or danger, but don’t force them in a room where they can do nothing (or only what you tell them they can do) safely.  Let them be free to explore, learn, and act at home.  It will naturally grow the thought, “I can do that!”


Independent- The internal drive to personally think, act, and fulfill with success. Not the idea that one doesn’t need anyone else, or is “strong enough on their own”. (Just want to make that clear, as I do not encourage a me-or-no-one mentality.)

Wondering, can you guess the sources of the two main ideas? 



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3 responses to “The Independent Toddler

  1. Rebecca

    The first thing that comes to my mind would be your Grandmother and you mom, but somehow I feel that there is a Bible Verse that relates. I will look and see what applies. Wonderful, by the way!

  2. Barbara Pickut

    Willing to reveal the sources? I was curious.

  3. Yes!
    The first is based off the beginning of “Baby Wise” which is a book I DO NOT recommend but I do like the idea it shares about bringing the baby into the family (just not how they choose to use it in the book.)

    The second source is Maria Montessori, and I read it in “Montessori Today” by Paula Polk Lillard. I do recommend that book if you are interested in Montessori’s child development research.

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