Yesterday, I read the story of a mother, who took her 2.5 years old son to do yoga. She explained her reasons and what were the benefits of doing so. There were photos of the little one performing yoga exercises (stretching, etc.) together with his mother. I was skeptical about her decision, even though I understand the frustration toddlers could bring to parents. They have a tremendous amount of energy and desire to learn new things. Moving around all day, touching everything, throwing away everything, running toward any possible risk, making a huge mass.
No day passes without me brainstorming on ideas on how to better handle the situation with my daughter. I’ve asked everyone, virtual and non-virtual contacts of mine. Unfortunately, most of the answers I received by more experienced mothers and fathers were: “Don’t worry. It is just a phase of your child’s development. It will end soon.” But folks … Yes, I know it is only a phase. My issue is how to get through it sane and safe for both my child and my nerves. We’ve removed most of the things in the house I’m keen about. The reason being: my ‘hurricane’ is capable to transform them into dangerous playgrounds right away.
After my first reaction to the article, I kept thinking about that mother’s decision to take her baby at yoga sessions. She was not wrong at all. Yoga was a new activity for her little boy, and a great way to spend some of his tremendous energy. At the same time, she is teaching her baby, quite early though, how to live an active lifestyle. The little men seemed to enjoy the yoga exercises, from what I could see from his photos.
Here is What I Did
So, I started to think what I could do to engage my daughter to new activities, that I can participate not as a guard, but as a co-exerciser. Guess what, I took her in my carpet exercising. I laid down to do the abdominal exercising, and my toddler sat down on top of my belly, to help mama get fit faster -:) She enjoyed so much, my back and forth movements, and start laughing with her angelic voice. I couldn’t continue performing my exercises as my heart melted and my body released completely. The same thing happened when performing my back exercises. She sat on top of my back and played with my hairs; God knows the pain I felt while she used my hair as ropes to hold on.
However, I did not stop trying. I had her help me dust the furniture. We both had our dusters and she enjoyed moving her toys from furniture to ground and vice versa. She kept smiling watching me dusting while standing on tips of my toes, singing and performing funny ‘live show’ for her. Then, we made the beds together, went to supermarket together, cooked together, walked the dog together, etc. I’m sure you’re wondering: “What’s special about these activities, we do them all the time”. The difference is that, for the first time I was using normal activities my toddler does during her plays, included into activities I need to perform daily. So, instead of me doing ‘the guardian’ role when she moves around the house, I transformed some time during the day as our time together, when we both were performing tasks together.
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In the end of the day, we gained some extra angelic laughs, we had a great time together, I gained some time to follow my own hobbies (this blog for instance); and I started to educate my daughter with the house care activities. Oh! I forgot to tell you, my daughter is only 16 months old, so all this stuff is amusing and new to her. I wanted to share with you my story with the hope you may find hints to enrich the time with your toddler with ‘valuable’ activities.
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