More patience or a different point of view?
Toddlers are busy little people. They like to run, explore and have things their way. As an early childhood expert, parents often ask me: ‘how are you so patient?’. The truth is, I do have patience but when you understand the toddler’s perspective you don’t need as much.Read more »
I have trained myself to have a different point of reference when looking at a situation. Here are three examples of natural triggers for even the most saintly of parents and what can be done for a smoother parent-toddler experience.
Going to the mall
The first thing a parent must do is decrease the to-do list. Have a plan for your mall visit with only one to two goals. Browsing with a toddler is impossible so set your own personal expectations in advance with that understanding. Plan your visit to be longer than needed, this way you can give your child more time to explore the environment. Leave time for your child to lead the way, and just follow (no questions asked). Approaching the mall visit form your child’s point of view will make the experience less stress for you. You may even enjoy it, along with some good educational time for I Spy games such as finding colours, shapes, animals, or playing catch. Be creative.
Going to the park
This may be your toddler’s first spring outdoor experience. There is no need to push children to play with ALL the playground structures at once. As adult, we are conditioned to be excited about the ability to try everything. Toddlers, however, need time to learn new environments. It is better for children to use their senses to understand their surroundings than to simply “play” in the playground. Let your child listen to the birds and airplanes in the sky. Encourage touching the grass, sand, rocks (feel free to take off shoes, and yours too if possible). Smell the flowers, examine bugs, ants, bees, and flies (don’t show your dislikes- be brave). Teach your child to be respectful of nature and share your knowledge and curiosity.
Going to the grocery store
We all know toddlers will sit in the shopping cart for less than a minute before asking to be unbuckled. Don’t fight it. Ask your toddler to help with the grocery list and in leading the way. Follow your child through the aisles and load your shopping cart with items on your list (make your shopping list short so the experience can be successful).
Some grocery stores have small shopping carts that can be used by the children such as the Sobeys on Rutherford and Bathurst. Allow your child to keep busy putting items in the mini-cart, just like you. If possible, allow your toddler to also feel the accomplishment of helping to pack the bags with your support.
The bottom line is, toddlers will be toddlers! Be there for them, listen, engage, guide, share, laugh and make memories for a lifetime as they don’t stay this age forever. What does stay the same? Stores at the malls, park play structures the supermarket shopping. You’ll have a lifetime of that.
Naama Yaacov, Director of Early Childhood Education Development at the ProssermanJCC and Schwartz/Reissman Centre
Posted: May 01, 2019|Categories: Journal
How To Care For Yourself,
While Caring For Your Family
Being a mother is one of life's biggest gifts, but we would be lying if we said that it didn't come with its challenges. Until the day you have children, you are the top priority in your life, but the second you have your first child, that all changes. It's truly amazing how quickly the change happens, but as the kids get older, we continue to drop further and further to the bottom of the totem pole. One thing we have learned, is that WE are in charge of inching ourselves back up to somewhere near the top, because when we don't, everyone suffers.
As the women of our households and entrepreneurs, it is extremely important that we are organized and make the most of every minute of the day. Running Savvy Sassy Moms, an online parenting magazine that provides helpful parenting advice, is our passion and we do our best to practice what we preach! They say it takes a village, or in this case, a community, to get it all done, and we couldn't agree more. Taking advantage of what our community has to offer is how we manage to care for ourselves while caring for our family.
Self-care in the community
How many parents can say that they are able to fit in a workout while their child is equally attuned to their arts and crafts program or in a swim class? A 30-minute or 1-hour class for your kids doesn't give any parent much time to hop in the car, drive to the gym, get a good workout in and then make it back to pick up their child on time! Over the years, we have always tried to enroll our kids in programs at the same facility and at the same time to try and minimize the burden of arranging carpools and running through the city like a chicken with our heads cut off.
However, over the years, we have learned that not only do we need to enroll our kids in programs at the same time and place, we need to consider ourselves and what we will be doing during that time. Our first choice for programming is at the local community centers. The beautiful facility has incredible programs for the kids and a top of the line gym for us. This gives us the ability to do it all. After a long day of work, working out gives us the time to reflect on what we have accomplished throughout the day and allows us to end the day with a clear head. It's second nature to plan for the kids and not for ourselves. When we are constantly running from A to B, our time for self-care used to get shelved until the weekend. That is no longer the norm and we can see how it affects our families in a positive way.
Work and play at the same place
We are always on the go, meeting people for work. Having a place where we can work and play, helps us maximize our days. We can go from a coffee or lunch meeting, into the pool or to an art class in a matter of steps. Making time to do things that we love is so important for us as parents. Whether it's an art class, a water aerobics class, or a workout class, doing something we love gives us real time to ourselves to enjoy and grow as a people. It allows us to make me-time that keeps us calm and enables us to continue finding ourselves.
More than that, we absolutely love seeing the friendly faces of our community members. Many have become friends from our times spent at the community center or through our children. We look forward to community celebrations and events where we can all come together as a group.
Come join us
In a big city or small, we all need our mom tribe. For us, we have found that tribe at the place where we spend most of our time. We feel a strong sense of community that allows us to feel supported as parents and business owners.