“Spend time with them now, because they grow so fast!” Parents hear this and see it splashed all over Facebook and other social media sites. Some parents promise themselves time with their children when all the dishes are put away and the ironing is done. They may decide to wait to play until after they’ve vanquished every dust bunny in the house. Mommy and daddy, it’s time to connect with your toddlers now!
Parents Don’t Have Time? Think Again!
Parents have time to connect with their children, but they don’t realize it. As they relax on the couch in between activities or chores, they can get down on the floor and join their child in playing with whatever toys they are enjoying.
In the quiet times, parents can make time to stretch out and color, play with dolls or trucks and just be a kid with their children.
I Love Being Silly with You
Some parents love to connect with their children by being silly. This is a wonderful way for them to spend time with their children, getting to know them and developing closer relationships.
Children may be surprised when their parents let their silly sides loose. As they look for ways to develop those close connections to their children, parents should go with what feels good. This could be while they eat ice cream with their children, smearing a little ice cream on their child’s cheek.
Be a “Touchy” Parent
Children need to be touched in loving ways. Parents can establish a closer emotional connection to their toddlers by touching them in one of several ways.
Janie Lacey, writing for PBS’ “This Emotional Life,” says loving touching helps children establish secure relationships with their parents. Some ways of “connection-touching” can include squeezing their child’s hand as they cross the street or caressing their hair as they read to them. Those good night kisses will be treasured and remembered into adulthood and during their school years, so parents should shower their children with loving kisses every night.
Got Any Family Rituals?
Life is about much more than getting up, going to work and coming back home again. Toddlers are still learning their place in the family, so having some kind of tradition they share with their family helps them feel like they belong. The rituals don’t have to be expensive or complex. Establish one night a week to have ice cream. Have a movie night every Monday evening.
I Accept You for You
One child may be giggly and ready for fun at all times. Another child in the same family may be serious and cautious about accepting new people. The parents of these children need to accept both of their children, period. By accepting Little Giggly and Professor Serious unconditionally, these parents are telling both children it’s okay to be who they are.