Thought Series : Raising a HAPPIE Toddler
Continuing our focus on Attention & Connection to raise a HAPPIE Toddler.
Pam Leo, Author of Connection Parenting defines:
Connection as ‘Feeling loved & listened to’, and
Disconnection as ‘Feeling hurt & unheard’.
She says – Provide children with a consistent, loving connection through eye contact, loving touch, respect, listening, and spending time working and playing together.
We’ll use these definitions as a compass throughout our discussions on ‘Connecting with our Toddler’. It sounds pretty simple, isn’t it?
To put it even more simply, you can connect with your child by offering them your undivided time (for listening, playing…) and undivided attention (through eye contact, your loving touch…)
Many a times, thanks to our crazy schedules, work load and other stress, we try to give our kids our time and attention, but often it’s not UNDIVIDED. We’re interrupted by mails or messages or our own wandering thoughts about incomplete tasks and what’s next on our to-do-list.
You’d know how annoying it is when you’re speaking to your spouse, and they keep checking their phone! Do you feel loved, listened to & connected when that happens? Well, imagine the same with your child.
Today, I’d like to explore with you some simple ways in which you can connect with your child. All of the below suggestions are simple things which can help you build trust & connect with your child, IF you couple it with UNDIVIDED TIME & ATTENTION.
- Your kid’s daily chores : Brushing, bathing, feeding time, nap time which we often frown upon due to the struggle they often are – can actually be great opportunities to connect if you can infuse some fun in them.
- Your daily chores : Cooking, Drying clothes, Dusting are some activities where toddlers love to ‘help’. Including them in safe ways not only helps your child feel involved and loved, but is also a great learning opportunity for them.
- Reading & Storytelling : While most toddlers might not show great interest at first due to their short attention spans, being consistent and interesting in your methods can go a long way in instilling creativity and a love for books and reading from an early age. Plus the touch, warmth, glances & time you share during the process creates deep bonds over time.
- Play : Play is the ‘work’ of childhood. Play for connection, Play for learning & teaching, child-led play, adult-led / guided play – there are many forms of play, which we’ll try to delve deeper into in future posts. Fun & Play can be infused in about anything and everything you do with your child, and you’ll find yourself magically connecting and bonding!
In short, anything that includes smiles, laughs, giggles, hugs and cuddles – are all ways to fill your child’s cup with connection & meet their need positively so that they don’t have to seek attention through negative behaviors.
Thought for Today:
What are some things you and your child enjoy doing together that involves smiles, laughs, giggles, hugs and cuddles?
If you’d like to add some connection rituals, which of the above suggestions would you like to start experimenting with?
We’ll learn about ‘special time’ and how you can incorporate that in your day or week to connect deeply in a short span of time.
Access Previous Days In This Series: Raising a HAPPIE Toddler
Day 0 : Laying out Universal Human Needs
Day 1 : Healthy Parent = HAPPIE Child
Day 2 : Making Self-Care A Habit
Day 3 : Meeting your toddler’s physical needs
Day 4: Identifying your own triggers before you tend to your child’s
Day 5: Dealing with feelings of guilt & inadequacy (Moms!)
Day 6: Attention v/s Connection Parenting