Ideally we would all love to spend quality and quantity time with our toddlers but with the busy lives we lead, this is not always possible. So I advocate, some time with your toddler is better than no time at all. The secret is to ensure that the moments you have together are ones of communication, love and bonding.
The family that work together, stay together
The house is a mess, the dishes need doing, the laundry basket is spilling over, there’s enough dust to write a thesis in and the family need feeding. On top of that, your toddler demands your attention. Combining the two is not as difficult as you might think and it could be fulfilling for you as well as the child.
- Dusting – give your child a dry rag and guide him/her to a cleaned off coffee table or dresser to dust.
- Baking – after measuring everything out, let your toddler pour the ingredients in as you stir. They can also help you put things away when you are through.
- Shopping – use this opportunity to develop your child’s vocabulary, counting and memory skills.
You can count on these chores taking you longer, but by spending time with your children in this way, you are, in fact, teaching them how to behave and giving them essential life skills.
Experts say that routine creates a comforting environment for your child that makes them feel safe and loved. Devoting one hour each day (or however much time you can spare of your undivided attention) to create some routine into your child’s schedule is very important.
Meal times and bath times are the most obvious and easiest examples of establishing routine and consistency.
- Eating – A perfect time to teach your child manners and social skills. How to use cutlery correctly, not talking with their mouth full, or reaching across other people’s plates.
- Bath times – There are a wealth of toys and games that you can use to enhance your child’s bath time. My favourites are foam letters and numbers. Sold in many pound shops, these versatile, waterproof, floating numbers and letters are not just fun but educational for your toddler. You can also make your own by cutting out shapes and letters from new kitchen sponges or from craft foam.