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Learning independence through routines

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Taking responsibility for daily routines can help your child develop independence and perseverance.

Becoming familiar with daily routines allows your child to make choices about their day, and organise themselves and their belongings. Getting involved and being accountable for an activity (for example, watering the garden, helping care for a pet or choosing their breakfast cereal) helps develop a sense of responsibility and pride.

While it may take months for children to learn routines, like dressing themselves, tidying away toys or setting the table, as they keep trying they also learn to persevere. Help your child to learn different sections of routines, like matching buttons to button holes, tying shoelaces or choosing which shirt to wear, and encourage them to take responsibility for that part.

Don’t rush

  • Take time to talk to your child about the routines and recognise their help and efforts when they do.
  • Having an adult close by to provide help or encouragement can help your child feel secure to try new challenges.
  • Having you close can also help keep them interested in the activity.
  • Being engaged in repeated experiences helps children to see how their actions affect their world and the people in it; while helping them to see themselves as capable, competent and having control. 

young child practicing putting on their shoes and socks

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Last updated 30 October 2020