Several summers ago I was asked to help with a local church’s childcare program. It sounded like a good opportunity, so I took them up on it. When they asked if I had an age group preference, I knew exactly where I wanted to be – right in the thick of the 2-4 year olds! I love those ages!
Fast forward a bit and you’ll find me with my very own toddler! You know what? I am more in love with this age than ever before. Earlier this year, my little boy became a big brother. The fun has multiplied times two – and so has the challenge of making my toddler feel loved and special.
In my vast mommy-of-a-toddler experience (he’s two), I have found 7 things that speak volumes of affection to my little guy. I love watching his eyes light up, his personality come out, and his love tank fill up as we do these things together…
Seven Ways to Fill Your Toddler’s Love Tank….
- Talk with them. Take time to hear what they’re thinking, what’s bothering them, their little bits of baby wisdom, their funny sayings, and their sweet “I luff yous”.
- Look them in the eye. Those beautiful, sparkling eyes are full of adventure and admiration. Soak it in. Connect with them through eye contact! (Side note: Please don’t expect your children to look you in the eye when you’re speaking if you do not first practice this common courtesy with them.)
- Smile. You’ll likely receive a awfully sweet smile in return, too!
- Slow down. Take time to walk at their pace – little legs can’t cover as much ground as you can. Take time to explore – little eyes and hands are so curious. Take time to help them understand – little minds are so eager to learn.
- Have a reading marathon. When my second son was born, my toddler and I both loved snuggling up with the new baby and reading book after book. My favorite memory is the Dr. Seuss marathon we had together. We both had so, so much fun and Big Brother’s love tank was full to the brim, even with the constant demands of a new baby.
- Play with them. Enjoy their little world! Find out what things fascinate them (right now, my toddler is all about wheels!). Foster creativity and imagination.
- Take them on a date. This really doesn’t have to be anything fancy. The one-on-one time is what I’m after here. My little guy still talks about our last date – a quick trip to the pet store to pick up a few things for the dog.
Toddlers are special people with big, deep feelings. Leave a comment and tell us the ways you fill your child’s love tank!