Children need time to play outdoors, to experience nature and be outside. I have three children who spent much of their days in their early years being outside. They still pend much of their out of school time in the parks and outdoors with each other and friends. That is where children learn about their bodies and what they can do. It is how they learn what risks they can take and how to keep themselves safe (yes, the less adults interfere, the more children develop the ability to stay out of harm’s way). They use their imaginations, make decisions and cooperate with friends as they play. In this piece, Angela Hanscom of TimberNook argues that the decline in outdoor play is actually harming our children. I agree. What do you think? Leave a comment below or on Facebook. [Read more…]
Maybe you can relate—the time off with my family was enjoyable but it also feels good to have the holidays now behind us. Even my teenagers admitted that going back to school was somewhat welcome in terms of getting back to their regular routine and reconnecting with friends.
While I am not someone who makes New Year’s resolutions (mainly because I can’t seem to keep them), the start of the year is a time I like to take stock of aspects of my life, especially my role as a mother. Being a parent is both a pleasure and a challenge, all wrapped into one ongoing experience. I often encourage other parents at the Toddler Center to take this time to think about reframing your role as a parent or caregiver—your actions, words and intentions. This isn’t about being hard on yourself or adding more to your what you already do list. [Read more…]
Your Presence is Your Greatest Gift
We all want the Holidays with our toddlers to be enjoyable, meaningful and memorable, and in part 3 of this holiday series I have just a few more simple suggestions to make the weeks ahead toddler friendly and fun for the whole family.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY: Include your children in the celebration, honor ritual and embrace fun.
Include your child in the celebration. Some of my best advice for making the holidays special for your child is to find ways to include your child in the festivities, including the creation and giving of gifts. Young children love to help and feel as if they are part of the ‘grown-up’ fun, so whether it’s making simple ornaments, decorating cards or helping to wrap gifts, these child-friendly activities include your child in the celebration. These activities also teach them the reciprocal feel-good effect of giving and receiving, and can help take the emphasis off of the “gimmies.” We recently had a gift exchange where my cousin’s two-year-old delighted and found great satisfaction in being the one to hand out (and then subsequently open up) all of the presents for the adults in the room. [Read more…]
The holiday season is now upon us in Toddlerland as we prepare for the celebrations ahead. I love the musical sounds of the season, holiday lights illuminating houses and avenues, and a festive holiday spirit in the air. Bakeries are filling with delicious smells and special treats. It is a glowing time of year.
In this second of my three-part series on holidays with toddlers I want to help you have a delightful season with your young child, one that builds lasting memories without overwhelming your child or you. Keep in mind throughout the month ahead that the holidays are most often best enjoyed when we focus on connecting to people we love and sharing special moments. It is easy to be swept away by the media and consumer pitches to buy more, do more and go, go, go. But by staying present, you and your toddler may enjoy this holiday season better than in years past.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY: Play down the anticipation. Nothing is harder on a toddler than having to wait. [Read more…]
We are moving into the holiday season as noticed by the days getting shorter and cooler. As a mother of three, I get both excited and feel some trepidation as the holidays approach. While they most often bring joy, thankfulness and connection to family, they can also create stress. I certainly had my share of stumbles and less than peaceful family get-togethers when my children were younger.
In this 3-part series on holidays with young children, I will share what I’ve learned over many years as both a parent and a professional working with toddlers to make this potentially trying time of year a win-win for your whole family.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY: Slow down, set reasonable expectations and keep it simple. [Read more…]