Parents of toddlers are trying to get through the day cramming as many things as they can into a schedule. Be it activities for toddlers, errands that have to be done, things around the house, or calls to be returned, there is an endless stream of items to be checked off a list during a day.
While this is how parents tend to live their lives, it is not how toddlers do. They would rather wonder about the world around them and ask constant questions. And when this happens, instead of rushing through life, parents may want to find ways to slow down when parenting a curious and talkative toddler.
Taking time to enjoy life with toddlers makes the world more interesting. This is because while people are curious when young, that curiosity begins to fade as they age. The world is not seen through a lens of wonder. It is seen as a place with schedules and responsibilities. And while it is not possible to have curiosity blinders on at the world, doing so occasionally looking is not only good for toddlers to see what their parents do, it is good for parents themselves.
Here are ways to slow down when parenting a curious and talking toddler.
10 Be Present In The Moment
When parents are present in the moment with their toddlers, they are happier and healthier for itaccording to Greater Good Magazine. This is because they “release themselves from judgment.” Something that stops many adults from trying or exploring new things, for fear of how they will look to others.
When parents free themselves to be free and curious like their toddlers are, they reopen a world they closed the door to when they were younger. And when this happens, they are more mindful and attentive to not only their toddlers’ needs but theirs as well.
9 See The World Through The Point Of View Of Toddlers
When parents see the world through their toddler’s eyes, they are Seeing the world with wonder and excitement. Something they may not have done for quite some time.
According to Kid Minds, when little ones view the world, they have curiosity about everything they encounter. They have questions about what they are seeing. And those questions may be things that parents never asked themselves before.
Seeing the world through the point of view of toddlers gives what is being experienced new meaning, especially if parents have experienced it many times before. And when parents slow down to do this, it creates a bond between parents and toddlers unlike any other.
8 Remember What It Is Like To Be Curious
With the constant go, go, go of life, parents can forget what it is like to be curious. But by slowing down and listening to a curious and talkative toddler, that sense of wonder can be renewed and revitalized like never before.
According to The Washington Post, when parents open themselves to be curious, their parenting experience changes. They become more playful and mindful in their parenting. Something that makes being a parent more rewarding and shows toddlers that no one is ever too old to be curious.
7 Follow Toddlers’ Lead
It is not often that toddlers get to be in control of how the day goes or what activities are done. As such, when parents take a bit of time to follow toddlers’ lead, they are opening themselves up to be taught by toddlers. Something that happens infrequently for most.
According to RaisingChildren.net.au, when parents follow toddlers’ leads, parents can help their little ones learn something new by relating it to an experience they are enjoying. But by helping their toddlers learn, parents can learn from the experience as well. And when this happens it becomes a symbiotic relationship for learning between toddlers and parents.
6 Do Not Over Schedule The Day
Parents want to let their toddlers experience as much as they can on a daily basis. When this happens, there is a tendency for the day to get over-scheduled. And when this happens, not only is less taken out of the experience by toddlers, parents are more concerned with getting from Point A to Point B rather than taking everything in one experience at a time.
Therefore, instead of putting several things on the calendar per day for toddlers to do, parents may want to pare it back. This will allow more time to take everything in without a rush without creating sensory overload for toddlers.
5 Be As Curious As Toddlers Are
When people are curious, be it toddlers or parents, they continue to “grow, learn, and question” the world around themaccording to Jackrabbit Care. That helps toddlers develop mentally but can also keep parents “intellectually self-sufficient” as well.
Staying curious keeps the mind firing on all cylinders. When this happens, the brain is stronger than for those who just go through life going through the motions. And when this happens, it is easy to relate to innocent curiosity about the world. Something that can prompt questions parents may not have thought of had they let their curiosity dissipate as they aged.
4 Ask Open-Ended Questions
When toddlers have a million questions, it can feel like a non-stop barrage when trying to come up with answers. But, if parents ask open-ended questions, it allows toddlers to participate in the answer process as well. Something where everyone learns and benefits from the experience.
According to Parenting Nowusing “incidental teaching” is a great way to answer questions that toddlers have while making them think about what the answers might be as well. This is done by making connections to other experiences in their lives. And when toddlers can do this, it will not stop their curiosity, but it may spark conversations that parents can learn a bit from as well.
3 Set Aside Time To Answer Questions Toddlers Have
If the curious and talkative toddler has more questions than parents know what to do with, time should be set aside to answer all those questions when parents are able to be present and mindful of the questions being answered.
It is easy to answer questions toddlers have when time is carved out to enjoy an experience together. It is when toddlers have questions when parents are trying to get things done that it can be more difficult.
But instead of blowing off the questions or answering them with short answers, asking toddlers to be patient may be a better option for answering questions. this way, thoughtful answers can be given and a positive bonding experience can be had as well.
2 Plan Days That Surprise Toddlers
By breaking out of the daily routine, toddlers can be surprised. And when they are surprised, toddlers’ worlds open up to new experiences they never knew they could have.
According to The Octalysis Group, the unknown drives curiosity. When toddlers are surprised and put in new situations, they are certainly experiencing something foreign. Not only with their schedules but with the experience overall. And when this happens, parents are slowing down to support their talkative and curious toddlers in ways that normally scheduled events are not always able to do.
1 Be A Role Model For Toddlers
Something that will propel curiosity in toddlers is when they see their parents have curiosity. And this comes from sharing experiences together.
Be it learning a new skill or determining how something works, toddlers see their parents continuing to be curious and ask questions as they age. By having this as a role model, toddlers will recognize that it is appropriate to continue to be curious from toddlerhood on. Something that is special given that most lose their ability to be curious long before adulthood.
Source: Parenting Now, Greater Good Magazine, Kid Minds, The Washington Post, RaisingChildren.net.au, Jackrabbit Care, The Octalysis Group