Smart Parenting: Ways to Teach Self-Care Skills to Children


Smart Parenting: Ways to Teach Self-Care Skills to Children


Written by: Kevin Doyle

Growing up can be a tough task where every child is faced with uncertainties and hardships. It is thus of vital importance to ensure that your children grow up to be the most self-confident version of themselves that they can be.

One way of promoting a sense of self-confidence is promoting the idea of self-care and self-help. We are here to give you a few tips on teaching kids self-care skills which will benefit their broader life as a whole.

Profess the Importance of Attention

First, make sure you have time to give the children your undivided attention when you are teaching a new skill or routine. This gives them the sense that importance is placed on the task at hand, as well as on them in their approach to fulfilling this task. Likewise, make sure that the child is paying attention when learning the skill.

Minimize distractions and create a quiet environment at first. Break down the skill into simple steps. Give specific directions on how to complete each step.

This thorough approach to learning and teaching is useful for the children to understand the importance of process. They become familiar with a step-by-step approach to problem-solving and goal achieving.

Children Learn Better Visually

To help the children understand the self-care skill, provide visual cues as you move through the process of learning.  When each step is complete, children can move on to the next picture, this once again promotes the idea of a process driven approach.

Demonstrate each step as you move through the sequence. Work diligently through the process while ensuring your kid knows and understands what the process has entailed.

This is important for reinforcing what has been learned and the idea that the child is now in possession of the skills required to undertake to perform that task again in the future.

Consistency is Key

Try to use the same wording on each step by step direction for consistency. As  children become more independent, reduce the verbal cues until they can be discontinued completely. Once they have accomplished a step successfully, make use of positive reinforcement and praise.

Encourage and praise your children for each step that is accomplished. If your children fail, encourage them to persist and try again until they do. This will increase their self-confidence as they begin to understand that they are capable of doing their tasks, even if they have to try over and over again.

As children begin to understand the importance of self-care, they develop the self-confidence which goes along with this. These are mutually beneficial stages which work hand in hand towards the bettering of your children.

Let your Child Grow Independently

Work towards a child’s independence. This will occur as children begin to grasp their ability to do a wider variety of tasks without help. Their self-confidence and their ability to self-care will grow as they become more autonomous and less reliable on outside help.

This is not to say that you as a parent must leave them alone, but be confident and aware of their power to do things for themselves. This is easily identifiable when watching sports & outdoor activities for toddlers as they grow in confidence through repetition so too does their independence and understanding in these types of games.

As they begin to grasp a handle on something, their ability improves the more they pursue the goal on their own, a phase which is vitally important when pursuing the goal of self-care and self-reliance.

Praise and Reward

Offer some positive reinforcement.  For example, if you complete a certain number of steps then you will be able to choose a book to read, play with a toy for a set amount of time. This is a technique which utilizes a reward system as an outcome of success.

While material rewards are good in younger children, try and make a move towards offering alternatives forms of rewards, such as praise.

Material rewards will encourage notions that rewards will always be experienced in physical forms, as such, offering ideas of emotional growth as a reward.

Patience, from Both Sides

Finally, patience is the key, as with any activity which involves the teaching of a child. This requires you to block out a section of time in your schedule which you can direct towards the teaching of self-care to your children.

This time is important for both you and your child. You need to be present as this is a highly intense developmental stage which your children need to go through to make the transition into independent beings.

It is an equally important, and challenging, time for you as you will be required to let your child grow. However, this can be extremely satisfying to see your kids become the best version of themselves that they can be. That is the point of self-care, the independence, and self-confidence to flourish and grow as a person.

Kevin is a co-founder of the Toys Advisors blog. He has a lovely family with his wife Anna, son Tom and daughter Jane. He spends most of his time with his family, and has learned and shared about parenting, DIY!

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