Keeping in Touch the Toddler Way

Keeping In Touch the Toddler Way

Being miles away from loved ones can make it more challenging for your toddler to get to know his or her family. If your child’s grandparents or favorite aunt lives too far for frequent visits, you can still help them establish a relationship. Keeping in touch can be simple and meaningful by taking four simple steps.

  1. Hang one of those ribbon boards in your child’s room. They have them for both genders, but boyish ones may be harder to find or you can create your own. Fill the board with photos of loved ones and then a few nights a week before bed, take time to hold your child close enough to see but not too close so that they can pull the pictures off the board. Then point to each one, name them and let your child know that particular person loves them. Example: Holding your daughter, Megan, point to a photo of Aunt Erika and say, “Megan, this is Aunt Erika. Aunt Erika loves you.” While you may feel like you sound silly, it is a wonderful way of mixing visuals together with the sound of your voice and the warmth of your hug. By putting all of that together, it does create an impact.
  2. Establish a pattern of vocal contact depending upon what you are comfortable with, such doing something once a week to focus on that relative. Perhaps every other week you can speak by phone and then the opposite weeks via your web cam. Creating a specific day and time that you try to always stick with helps.
  3. Choose another day when you and your child can focus on doing something for that person. It can be as simple as drawing a picture and practice writing skills by adding their name to it or you can go shopping for a small care package that you would like to send. Once every few months, make sure to include a recent photo of your child too.
  4. Purchase one of those purse size photo albums from the dollar store. Fill it with extra photo doubles and it will become something your child will want to look at every day. Take time to go over it with your child, name each person and reinforce the knowledge that they are loved by many people.

    If none of your relatives are close by, then dedicate each month to someone different. By following these short steps, when the time rolls around for a visit, your child will be quick to warm up to this now familiar loved one and it allows for deeper connections that can last a lifetime.

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