Our little one is generally a happy child. Praise the Lord! She’s energetic, active, and vivacious most of the time. But there are also very few times that I just don’t seem to figure out what’s wrong when she’s just crying and is trying to tell me something in between sobs.
This week I tried to pay more attention to her actions and reactions. Yes, there are days that I am more attuned with my chores that she’s just there in the background doing her own thing sometimes even the whole day. Wooopssie—daisy. I know what you’re thinking right now. Yes, I’m guilty.
But after reading a few pages of the Toddlerwise book I realized that a few changes have to be made.
So, here are the basics from that book:
- Create a schedule and follow it. (Should you need to change something in the process then gradually implement it.)
- Create routines and teach it. Children thrive better when they know what to do and they take pride in doing what they’re expected to do.
- Incorporate structured time (parent-assisted activity/ies time), free play (based on child’s interest), and independent time/quiet (child does or plays on materials prepared by the parents.
Yes, we have schedule and routine in place but there are times that I let things slide especially when we’re out and about. Or sometimes I just don’t feel like going out and playing outdoors. Wooopssie. So, this week I try to consider her needs more as a child such as being able to play outdoors and being able to play with friends.
What else did we try doing this week aside from some that we already do?
Bethany eats at about the same time each day. She’s been trained and “programmed” by her Creator that way. Her meal times are set: 7,12,5 -ish.
She also wakes up at about the same time each day 7 and 7-ish. If she had a choice she’d rather be in bed before 7pm. We’re working on that one.
This week I gave her lots of play time. We go for a morning walk at 9am until 11am (one hour of that is with friends and the other hour just us in the playground) and then we play again with bubbles, paints, etc or with another friend again.
Then we eat at noon and play a little bit again for digestive purposes and then she takes a nap for almost three hours. This has never really happened before unless she’s super tired the day before or is sick (rarely happens). I’ve been getting a little bit of time for myself this week while she nap. What a tremendous blessing from God!
When she wakes up it’s usually dinner time and she’s happy to see food waiting for her. We would usually go for an evening walk as a family then proceed to bedtime routine and bedtime.
You’d think that after a long nap in the afternoon that she would go to bed later in the evening, right? But no. She usually goes the same time again.
So what’s the secret here?
As a parent we need to make sure that the few basics in the toddler’s life is taken cared of. They pretty much have this cycle going for them: eat, play, sleep. And when there’s regularity, variety, and consistency then the child is happy. I’m sure you’d agree with me that a happy child makes a happy mom and vice versa.
All these things boil down to following the principles that God has instructed us in the Bible—principles for health and life in general.
Being able to go outside and spend time in nature and/or in the playground either by ourselves or with friends has/have proven to make Bethany and I happy. We get lots of blessings such as getting sunlight, fresh air, exercise, relationships, learning, etc. So we are now trying to be more consistent with it.
We praise God for giving us the gift of outdoors especially in this time of pandemic because we’re still able to go outside and bask in His love and when we’re home we’re content and grateful with activities we can do indoors.
How about you? What do you do to have a consistent happy toddler?