It seems like just yesterday your baby was born, yet you realize that two years have gone by. And now it's time to let go a bit (not much!!), just enough to let them start learning to take care of themselves and by doing so develop their own style, one that will define them for the rest of their life.
The Joy of Watching them Grow.
At this point they may have already started to want to do some things on their own, like eat, change clothing, put shoes, brush teeth and many other things. It's important to let them be, always keeping an eye on them and remembering to be safe.
Help without helping: Showing support each time they try to do something new, like trying to put on their own pant's even if they end up on backwards, is what is going to help them be more confident and by so succeed in life. Don't take the pants off and put them on the right way, explain that the pants are on backwards and that he/she should take them off and try to put them on the right way.
Baby Steps: Yesterday you toddler tried to put his/her shoes on, and not only was he/she trying to put them on backwards but ended up getting very frustrated and could not do it. Today you take your shoes and show him/her how you put yours on and then let them try to put theirs on again. Try to give them as minimum help as possible, tomorrow they will be putting them on by themselves. Same thing applies with clothing, if they have not figured out how to take clothing off, start by telling them to give it a try, you would be surprise. And slowly add to the task.
Distance: Keeping your distance when your toddler is trying something new is a good tactic: watch what he/she is doing without interfering, even if you see him/her struggling let them at it, let him/her experiment and figure out things. You may even find yourself learning how to do thing somewhat different.
Eating: Picky or not pick it does not make a difference, at this age they all want to try it on their own, let them eat, make a mess, and when you want them to eat on their own they will want you to give it to them.
Teeth brushing: this can be an experience on it's own, soon enough your toddler will want to do it on their own, and while they will not be able to do a good job until later in life, it's also important that they get to practice and learn the good habit of teeth brushing. You can brush their teeth and then let them try it, you can help them by brushing your teeth next to them and have them mimic what you are doing.
Toilet / Potty: After using the potty, clean them and then let them "clean them selves" it will help them learn how to do it on their own. If you are lucky enough that your toddler is already potty trained, the probabilities are that very soon they will be trying to clean themselves as well, started before they try it.
Accomplishments: Always celebrate every little accomplishment your little one does, it's a big deal (Yes it is), an it can go a long way towards a great development. showing your support when they try new things, when they are being curious makes them whant to learn more and by doing so they end up being better persons in life.
Little things make a huge difference in the lives of our little ones, they are our greatest joy and the men and women of tomorrow. Let's do things right for them.