Parenting Tips

Parenting Tip: Stop Pouring Drinks for Your Children

Meet my new favourite kitchen accessory:

pitcher

Butterbean’s own milk jug (read: a plastic cream pot I bought at Value Village for under $3).

My 3 year-old has been able to get her own drinks for awhile now (water from the tap, juice boxes, etc.), but she wasn’t able to pour milk by herself because the jug was too heavy.  Butterbean drinks a lot of milk, and I pour many, many glasses of it a day. Correction: poured many many glasses of it. This new pitcher means that I will never be asked to get a drink for my child again when I am in the middle of a chore, or while I am trying to calm a crying baby, or (let’s be honest),  while I am in the middle of an Internet fix. Freedom is mine!!

If your preschooler isn’t already fixing his- or herself their own drinks, I highly recommend it. In addition to making life easier for you (does anyone else dread the words “I’m thiiiirsty!” as much as I do?), it encourages your child to be more self-sufficient. I joke a lot about being a lazy mom, but ultimately, my goal is to teach my children to be  competent, independent people. I know pouring a drink isn’t really huge in the grand scheme of things, but anything I can instruct my kids to do for themselves, I will in the name of raising responsible adults (okay, also, because I’m lazy, but I promise that’s not my entire motivation).

If you’re thinking about teaching your child to get his or her own drinks, you can start by keeping full sippy cups on the bottom shelf of the fridge. When they complain they are thirsty, suggest they grab a drink themselves. As he or she gets a little older, you can keep kiddie dishes in a low kitchen drawer or cupboard where he/she can easily find a cup, and get a step stool so they can reach the sink for water (the Bean uses her bathroom stool). Pouring a drink or poking a hole in a juice box can be a little tricky for wee ones at first, but children catch on quickly, and in the meantime, you can work on teaching them to clean up small spills (we keep our dish cloths in a low drawer, too, easily accessible to little hands).

I’d like to pretend these ideas were my own, but I’m not nearly clever enough to come up with something so ingeniously simple. We started keeping kids’ dishes and cups where they can reach them a million years ago, thanks to Cas from Mailtose79/OrganizedClutterBug, and I finally broke down and bought a cream jug based on this TheStayAtHome’s video from James (Busvlogger). I have stolen a crap-ton of tips from those guys because they are just that good.

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