We see you trying your best. We know that you’re exhausted after a long day’s work. We know managing a household with a family all day is more work than people care to realise. We also know that you feel guilty for not being able to spend more time with your little one, who seems to be growing far faster than you would like.
There are no shortcuts for children, and we don’t want to imply that there are “faster, more convenient” ways to spend time with our children. But what if we could lift the burden of guilt through some activities that we know will make your children feel loved and cherished, even if those activities are only a few minutes at a time? You and your children would feel like your cups are filled and running over.
We’ve perhaps all observed it, even subconsciously, but a recent study from Harvard revealed that children who grow up with warm, loving parents live better lives. The National Library of Science’s studies highlight that “early and consistent affectionate touch from a caregiver confers wide-ranging and holistic benefits for infant psychosocial and neurophysiological development. Several human studies link affectionate caregiver touch to positive immunological outcomes.
Mothers who perform KMC demonstrate heightened sensitivity toward their infant, as well as increased chances of successful and long first breastfeeding.” We could give a page of references on the benefits, but we think you understand. So, how can you show up today and ensure your little one feels loved and valued in just a few minutes?
- Show your love. It might be cuddles, a “kiss attack or a long hug. Not everyone is the physical affection type of family, so find another gesture that demonstrates your love outwardly.
- Baby Massage: Spend a few minutes massaging your baby with gentle strokes. This not only helps with relaxation and bonding but can also promote better sleep.
- Babywearing: Using a baby carrier or sling, carry your infant close to your body while you do your daily activities. This physical closeness can help them feel secure and loved, even when you’re on the move.
- Learn your child’s love language. They show what they love early in the tiny tot years. It could be quality time if they always want to have a picnic with you or a tea party. If they always tell you how much they love you, take a few moments to make eye contact and tell them what you love about them, as their love language right now could be words of affirmation.
- Eye contact and attentive listening. Children have an intuition that they haven’t shut down or learned to ignore, so they know when you’re distracted. Make eye contact and really listen to their words.
- Toddlers crave approval and validation. Spend a few minutes each day praising and encouraging your child. Celebrate their accomplishments, no matter how small, and let them know how proud you are of their efforts. This positive reinforcement bolsters their self-esteem and helps them feel cherished.
- Storytelling: Spend a few minutes each day reading or telling stories to your child. Choose age-appropriate books and engage them in the narrative. This promotes language development and creates cherished bonding moments.
- Kitchen Helper: Involve your toddler in simple kitchen tasks like stirring, pouring, or washing vegetables. This not only provides a sense of accomplishment but also lets them know they are valued members of the family.
In just a few minutes a day, you can sow the seeds of love and connection with your child that will blossom into a lifetime of happiness and well-being. These simple gestures and activities, grounded in affection and attention, are the keys to filling both your and your child’s cups with love that overflows.