Connecting with Your Toddler
As a parent, you will always try your best to get your child ready for the big milestones in life. Including those that may not seem quite as big from a third person’s perspective. Like exploring the outdoors, helping them overcome their first tantrum or guiding them through managing their emotions.
However, sometimes navigating your way through it all can seem like a daunting task. Parenthood, after all, is far from easy. In such instances, toddler programs can be of great help.
The core aim of any toddler program is to create warm and stable relationships among parents and their children, helping toddlers deal with their emotions, and get pre-school ready.
Connecting with your toddler and establishing a responsive relationship is crucial for their development. It gives them a sense of security, allowing them to feel safe in their environment even if it is new and unknown.
This feeling of comfort and security further encourages them to explore their surroundings with confidence, thus learning more about the world they live in. It also helps them develop essential skills such as how to think in any situation, how to understand and communicate, how to behave and social skills.
Decoding relationships toddler years: what parents can expect
In some ways, it will not be an exaggeration to say that toddlerhood can be as complicated a time as teenage. It is a phase of rapid change, growth and development. And as toddlers grow, so will your relationship with them, witnessing changes that are quite natural and normal.
As they grow older, your toddler will realise that they are an individual entity. They will express or display a desire to be independent and may want sole autonomy over certain activities like picking their own clothes and dressing themselves. Or feeding themselves on their own.
They may even make certain rigid decisions and it might be harder for you to convince them to do otherwise. Despite the independence toddlers display, they may still feel anxious about being separated from you and being around new people. At such times, connecting with your toddler should take precedence. Understanding the changes taking place within them will better equip you with effective methods by which you can handle.
Another change that will take place now is how quickly your child will grasp language and spoken words. This will open up a whole new possibility for you as parents wherein you can use their understanding of language to your advantage and connect with them over new games and activities.
You might even notice your toddler developing a range of emotions over which they have no control. Tantrums might arise. However, you can overcome these tantrums by tuning into your toddlers emotions and by establishing a strong relationship with your toddler.
Lastly, at this point toddlers will realise that their actions have consequences, i.e. outcomes that they may desire as the result of performing a certain action. For example, throwing a tantrum to get extra TV time.
How to build a rock solid relationship with your toddler
Irrespective of their age, kids need reliable caregivers whom they share a strong emotional connection with. Think of a caregiver who gives them plenty of attention and makes them feel safe and secure. You can be that caregiver if you give the following tips a shot:
- Ensure your toddler gets a lot of positive attention from you. For example, gently wrapping your arm around them as they show you something they found fascinating outdoors can be an effective way to extend positive attention towards your baby.
- Plan fun activities with your toddler. Take playing with cars or dolls for example. Toddlers love that! By being involved in their games and letting them lead the way, you let them know that you are there to encourage them and have fun with them.
- Reading together is another one of the fun activities with your toddler that you can conduct on a daily basis. Apart from improving your kid’s imagination and getting them preschool, reading together can also be a great bonding exercise for you and your toddler.
- Ensure you have at least one meal together daily. Sharing a meal as a family will help create a sense of belonging and groundedness for your child. Besides, you can also use this time to reinforce the skills of conversing and listening effectively in your child.
- Let your toddler make certain decisions. As you already know, your toddler will express a desire to be independent in certain areas. You can encourage their autonomy through simple tasks like letting them pick their outfit for the day. This can be a great way to teach them how to be responsible for themselves.
- Take time to understand their emotions. Play activities with toddlers aside, you also have to take the effort to understand the growing emotions of your child. If you find them upset or hurt, try to understand them first by talking to them gently in a soothing and comforting tone. That will help them manage their emotions better.
- If your child faces separation anxiety, try to have a conversation with them about spending time apart. Soothe by telling them that they are not alone and there would be someone they trust to take care of them in the interim. Also, let them know where you will be and when you will be back so that they can take comfort in knowing that the wait time will end.
- Plan play activities with your toddler based on their temperament. For example, if they would rather stay home on a particular day and finish that thousand piece puzzle, join them in their decision instead of forcing them to go outside.
We understand that as toddlers grow, connecting with them can feel difficult. However, by following the above tips to the extent possible, you can forge a strong relationship with your child without the drawbacks of prolonged tantrums, separation anxiety and the like. At EuroKids, we too try to create a safe, secure and nurturing environment for children where they can grow and explore freely. To know more about our teaching methods, visit us any time you like.