Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Daily Connections with my Toddler

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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

As you wake up each morning so joyful and full of life, it fills me with hope.  Hope that I can be the kind of mother that you need and deserve. The kind of mother that you deserve chooses not to hurry through the day and takes the time to connect with you on every level possible while you are still at this tender age of one.  There are so many ways to reach your level and let you know that I'm here and I'm listening to the language of you, my little toddler.

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 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

"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!


  1. What a beautiful post and such an inspiring list of ways to connect. I espcially love the one about sharing a meal uninterrupted.Thanks for including our series on connecting with your child as welll. :)

    1. Thanks, Ness! The meals are something that we try to share as a family each night, but I also wanted to make sure that me and G have another special meal together uninterrupted, as well! :)

  2. love it, great post:-) frogs and snails and puppy dog tails

  3. Your sweet little intro "letter to your toddler" was a touching accompaniment to the wonderful ideas and links you shared here. Thank you! -heather

    1. Thank you, Heather. I always hope that he will take the time to read so of these posts when he gets older. :)

  4. You always have such heartfelt posts that make me tear up. I love the idea of not regretting the time spent (or not spent) with your child in the few short years they are small. This reminds me of when Zel was an infant and I held him for every nap until he was around 9 months old. People thought I was crazy, but I will always treasure those sweet moments. I look back on those days and I'm so glad that I did what was right for us :)

    1. That is so sweet, Amy! They do grow and change so fast! That is so important to do what feels right for you and the little ones. I remember rocking and rocking him while he took his bottle and I miss those times, too. :)

  5. What a BEAUTIFUL post! Thanks for sharing =-) And linking up to TGIF!


  6. Lately, when we get home after work and daycare, Gaia likes to sit on the steps and wave to the cars. We talk about the colors and the sizes, and how many people are in them. Then after a bit it's time to go home, say hello to the cat and get ready for dinner.

    1. What a special time to share with your little one! I love those teachable moments when you are sharing and discussing something that your child loves!

  7. Lovely - all these reminders about being present as a parent and engaging with our kids are so important. Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. I always need a few reminders, especially during those trying days! :)

  8. Beautiful list, very inspirational. These are great reminders for all of us busy parents.

  9. What a great list. Thank you Gina for the reminder. xoxo P

  10. what a great (& doable) list! Wonderful things to keep in mind on a daily basis. I have pinned this to my For the Parents board! Thanks for sharing on the Sunday Showcase :)

    1. Thanks so much! I appreciate the pin. :)

  11. Thank you for these sweet gentle reminders amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You reminded me that I don't have to be supermom, I just need to be fully present with my girls, Faith and Grace... ages 3 and 4 months. This is what memories are made of!

    1. I'm so glad that you stopped by to read our post! It's a constant struggle each day, for me, to make sure that I am being fully present with my little one. There are so many much going on. I try to keep these tips in the forefront of my mind each day!

  12. Beautiful. Bookmarking this one for reference daily! Thank you so much for linking up at The Parent 'Hood. This is truly the type of posts we're hoping to collect with this synchroblog. Hope you will be back next week!

    1. Thank you, Megan! I'm looking forward to seeing what all will be linked up next week, too!


Thanks for commenting! I love hearing your thoughts!

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