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Pausing to listen to an airplane in the sky, stooping to watch a ladybug on a plant, sitting on a rock to watch the waves crash over the quayside - children have their own agendas and timescales. As they find out more about their world and their place in it, they work hard not to let adults hurry them. We need to hear their voices. ~Cathy Nutbrown
This simple list that I am making is a reminder for myself. A reminder that will help us enjoy and make the most out of each day that we are together...without rushing, without glossing over those special moments that we share, just bonding. Each of the items on this list, are daily "rituals" that I feel are important to mother and son (or even to the entire family). Here is what our days consists of among the hustle and bustle, between the errands, and around the mundane tasks of the everyday.
~ Read together...a book, three books, a stack of books
~ Enjoy a meal with each other without distractions
~ Encourage you to assist me with a chore, task, or recipe
~ Sing songs (and dance!)
~ Go outside...to play, sit, or explore
~ Awaken your five senses...point something out for you to see, smell,
taste, feel, or hear
~ Look into your eyes when you talk to me
~ Talk to you...explain, discuss, question, answer, and share
~ Make you laugh
~ Help you "copy" Mama...give you a brush, a pen & paper, car keys
~ Give you the opportunity to discover/explore/learn something new
Each of these special moments can be shared within a few short minutes of the day. When we experience these as mother and son, I feel that our connection grows stronger, we understand each other a bit more, and we learn to enjoy our time together as a family. Everyone always says that children don't stay little for very long. By being intentional with the moments we do have, it allows those cherished years to go by not with regrets, but with the certainty that we were there, present with that little child that has now grown into a young adult.
I asked other mothers out there in the blogosphere, how they try to connect with their little ones. Here are several lovely moments that they've shared connecting with their little ones.
~ Spending time together - cuddling, laying with them to go to sleep at night whispering about the day we've had and our plans for tomorrow - it's something I've always done at bedtime with both of them. I love it, it's such a nice end to the day and reminds me why I'm at home with them. ~ Rainy Day Mum
~ Taking slow walks and stopping to look and talk about whatever caught my daughter's interest whether it be a bug, a flower, cracks in the sidewalk, red cars, or a neighbor's dog. ~ The Golden Gleam
~ Sitting on the floor with them and playing. Doesn't matter what toys, our favourites are tea parties, trains and small world. ~ Here Come the Girls
~ We love reading by the fireplace or under a tree. It always calms us down and gives us some time to talk, laugh, and hug. It is a great way to recharge our day when things start to get a little crazy. ~ Adventures in Reading with Kids
~ The best way I know to connect with my son is to agree to make the digger noises while we did in the sand pit. It shows I am present in his play. I don't do it often enough but when I do you can see how much he enjoys it. ~ Taming the Goblin
~ My one year old loves for me to take him on the deck and play in the playhouse. We hammer in the nails on the work area and make phone calls in the play phone. We both love spending that time together. ~ Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
~ One of my favorite ways is reading together - usually in the morning has he slowly goes between eating breakfast, books and play as I sift through emails and have my coffee and breakfast. We read and talk about the book and then he'll take a break and eat, and I'll hop back on the computer. I also love bedtime, which also usually includes either reading or story telling. Our walks are also a big hit - we talk a lot about what we see. ~ The Good Long Road
~ For me its reading. I find out many things about what my son is thinking when I ask open-ended questions about the book, or in relation to a similar situation he's been involved in. ~ Little Moments
~ My son (2.5yo) loves nursery rhymes. We enjoy singing the rhymes and doing the actions. But if he is a bit under the weather, nothing like cuddling and breastfeeding. After the feed, he is generally much better and will start jumping on me. ~ Smiling Like Sunshine
~ My son loves to read. He will sit in my lap and let me read to him for a while. I just love this one on one time with him. We also love to dance and sing. ~ Being a Conscious Parent
~ Family meals together at the table. ~ In Lieu of Preschool
~ One of my favorite ways to connect with my toddler is to sit and play trains with her and be available a lot for hugs and cuddles. I also love to sit in our cosy reading chair with her and read dog stories and tickle her. ~ Toddler Approved
~ Just sitting or lying down having a cuddle and chatting. Sometimes I give him a massage too to unwind, which is a lovely way to connect, I think. Creative Playhouse
~ Zel loves sharks, every so often I will grab his shark puppet and pretend that it is going to eat him (we also make the jaws music while doing this...duh duh duh duh). He laughs so hard at this. Then I kiss attack him!
~ Z is for Zel
~ We have a Jar of Love - conversation starters that the kids and I enjoy chatting about. ~ Kids Activities Blog
~10 Simple Ways to Connect with Your Toddler Series ~ One Perfect Day
For more ways to connect, please visit the following links:
Reading - The Greatest Gift of All ~ Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers
Connecting with Do-Nothing Time ~ WordPlayHouse
Connecting with Do-Nothing Time ~ WordPlayHouse
"Learn as You Go" I Spy ~ Life at the Zoo
Toddlers Won't Wait For You To Have The Perfect Time To Connect ~ Creative With Kids
Toddler Games ~ The Good Long Road
I would love for you to share a simple, easy way that you connect with your toddler each and every day. Please share your thoughts in the comment section or visit our Facebook page!