New skills: Where do you start?

When it comes to teaching your child a new skill, it can be hard to know what they are capable of and ready to learn.


Start by making a list of skills to teach your child. Early learning skills like making eye contact, learning to imitate and following simple instructions open the door for learning more complex skills. Things like using the toilet, getting dressed and feeding themselves can help daily routines to run more smoothly.


Think about what skills your child might like to learn. You might be able to ask them or, if you watch them closely, they might give you clues about what they would like to learn next. They might have started trying something on their own, like getting dressed in the morning, but they can’t put on their shoes. So, that’s what you could teach them next.


When it comes to teaching the skill, break it down into small steps. Use clear, calm instructions and show them how to do each step. They could try to imitate what you do, or you might need to use physical guidance. Praise and reward them for each step they do.


If you’re having trouble teaching a new skill, don’t give up. Instead, try to work out what the problem is and come up with possible solutions. The task might be too difficult for your child’s developmental level so you might need to start with a skill that’s easier. Try out the solutions and keep track of what works.

Stepping Stones Triple P’s Seven Steps to Positive Parenting 

This hot parenting topic sure is a conversation starter! It relates to Stepping Stones Triple P’s fifth step to positive parenting: “Have realistic expectations.” Read more about the seven steps to positive parenting. Here are more hot parenting topics to get you thinking about whether you have realistic expectations about your child, and your own parenting:

Get more ideas for teaching new skills

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