In our pre-parent dreams we envision ourselves taking long walks on the beach with our toddlers, enjoying quiet dinners, reading books together, and watching our favorite movies. These activities are possible with children, but probably more enjoyable with friends. In the busyness of the lives we live it benefits everyone to make a conscious effort to communicate with toddlers and young children. JUDY
Several articles below talk about the actual amount of time parents spend communicating with their young children. You will be very surprised at how low the average amount of time turns out to be across the board. This information is not provided to make you feel guilty. It helps to know how often parents thought they were doing very well, and just did not realize the truth. Food for thought…..
Infant Sign Language is a viable tool for doing this. A popular understanding is that the “Terrible Twos” are really just frustrated infants trying to communicate. Think how you would feel if everyone in the room was 3 x taller than you and speaking Swahili. You wanted to communicate, but had no tools to do so. Add to that the fact that a 2 year old does not realize you do not know what he is saying…. major frustration. Teaching simple infant sign language for words often used is a step in the right direction. You can start this in the first few months of life.
Work fun time into the custodial care you provide for you little ones: Play music you both enjoy while you are giving a bath; Purchase books on tape for the car; Be sure when you sit at the table for a meal you are all present, physically and mentally. Eliminate your cell phone, I-pad, TV, etc. BE PRESENT. Remember James Taylor’s song ‘The Cat In The Cradle’? Dad woke up and realized his son had emulated him to dad’s own demise. Plan now to have great relationships with your kids in their adult lives. It won’t just happen!!
When my children were young I found that when I was frustrated with their inability to keep up, I was really upset with the fact that I had planned too much for the day.
As child #5, my 2 year old put his hands on either side of my face and turned my face toward him. Poor guy, he wanted some attention.
Luckily, with 2nd and 3rd children the older siblings interact too, providing more love and attention than you could give by yourself.
Articles on The Amount of Time Parents Actually Spend With Their Children
Parents learned they spent less time with their kids than they thought:
In this article it was discovered that parents spent five minutes a day interacting with their children:
This study tells us parents spend an average of 34 minutes a day with their young children.
Here are some fun suggestions on activities to do with your kids: