When we think of self-care, we often think about things that we can do to support our physical and mental health. However, did you know that the foundation for self-care skills develops during childhood?

As caregivers, we take on the responsibility of caring for our children and making sure all of their basic needs are met. Things like bathing, toileting, dressing, and feeding begins as the parents responsibility, and then as your child ages they take on more independence with these tasks. 

As a parent, I understand that oftentimes doing something for your child is often quicker and necessary to keep your day moving along. As a professional, I also see that as parents, we tend to do things for our children for longer than we should, which then impacts their ability to be more independent with their self-care. When children are unable to be independent with self-care, we can see struggles evolve such as difficulty with peers, and inability to engage in social activities such as play dates, sleep overs, and some school activities. 

Occupational therapy is the perfect solution to help your child gain more independence in self-care skills, while you as the caregiver buy yourself more time back in your day and your child unlocks independence and opportunities for success!

Occupational therapists can help address any of the following self-care skills:
  • Getting dressed
  • Feeding themselves
  • Brushing their teeth
  • Brushing their hair
  • Cutting their nails
  • Bathing and washing their hair
  • Using the toilet
  • Getting ready for bed
  • Following a morning routine




For kids who have mastered these skills, they might be ready for higher level self-care such as:
  • Prepping a snack
  • Completing a 3 step routine 
  • Doing their laundry 
  • Cleaning their room 
  • Time management



By Brittni Winslow, Executive Director of Emerge Pediatric Therapy