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The Home Experience, Issue #001 -- Shy toddlers
June 30, 2008

Toddler Activities E-zine bringing you toddler parenting tips, encouragement for moms of little ones as well as character building themes and activities.

Crafts l Activities l Link to us

Welcome to the first edition of The Home Experience! Each day that I look at my 4 children I am reminded how fast the young years pass. When our children are little we only know that reality and often we narrow our focus to only the “here-and-now”, but what we really should be doing is focussing on the long term goal of raising our children to become successful adults. They will, after all, spend the majority of their lives as adults, not children.

Keeping this in mind is very helpful when we have to deal with the constant child training issues that arise when we have toddlers at home. This leads me onto this months toddler parenting tip.

Parenting tip for shy toddlers

Have you ever been to a park or birthday party where there is a toddler who refuses to separate from their parent? Perhaps it is your child who is the one that is glued to your leg?

It is very common for toddlers to go through shy phases, some may even remain shy or insecure when separating for up to 6 years of age. In some cases young children even older than this fail to separate easily.

Moms who have toddlers or children who cling to them in unfamiliar environments often become exasperated by this behaviour and it even intensifies when other moms comment on it or when she notices how easily all the other children are happy to leave their moms side and enter the fun.

For moms who find themselves in this situation, I would encourage you to not give into feelings of anxiety or frustration. Do not force your child to leave your side – this will create further feelings of insecurity and have a compounding effect for the next party or outing you attend! Instead serve your toddler their party food, find a comfy seat and sit down with them and enjoy the party or outing, even from afar.

Other moms who are free to move about will more than likely come and sit with you and you can enjoy some adult interaction with your toddler right by your side. This way you can ensure that you and your toddler have a good time at the outing. Be sure to also set your expectations for the day so that you do not end up frustrated as you were expecting to have time out while your little one played alone.

You and your toddler

While it is my firm opinion that far too many experts and even some mothers expect toddlers to become independent too soon, there are ways that you can help your toddler to move into feeling secure when you are not going to be with them.

Permanence is understanding that while they may not see you, you are still around. Here are some fun activities to do with your toddler to help them with permanence:

  • Play hide and seek

  • Play peek-a-book

  • Story books about separating
  • In addition to this you can also consider the following:

  • Say good bye properly if you ever have to leave them with a caregiver

  • When you are not in eyesight of your toddler and they start to fuss, call out to them and tell them you are coming. If this is not an urgent cry, do not rush to them but stay in voice contact as you move closer.

  • If you toddler is showing signs of anxiety, be sure that you take a period of time to cut out any activities (including playschool if your toddler attends one) and remain at home with them for a season.

  • Start teaching them to play alone for short periods of time. Start with 5 minutes alone in their room with a special box of toys for “alone time” and slowly build this time up.
  • If you are battling with being together all the time, make sure you are developing relationships between your toddler and another adult (aunt, grandparent, trustworthy friend) so that they will eventually be able to remain with them for a short period of time when you need some time out.
  • Character building activity

    Tell your toddler that even when you are not with them, God is watching over them all the time.

    1. Craft

    Make a match box doll and bed. Cover an empty match box with white paper. Let your toddler decorate it with felt tip pens. Help them to put a layer of cotton wool in the box tray and cover it with a little clothe. You can either buy a tiny doll or make one in the following way.

    Use a wooden bead and a small dowel rod that can fit into the bead hole. Glue them together. Use a permanent marker to add face details. Make hair using wool. Glue onto the bead. Wrap the body (dowel) in a colourful material scrap. You may want to do this before you make the bed with your toddler.

    Let your little one place the baby into the bed and you can then tell them the scripture below. They may find it comforting to take their match box doll with them when they go out to a strange place.

    2. Bible link for moms Psalm 121

    Hide it in their heart...the Bible tells us to hide scripture in our hearts. We can teach this principle to our little ones too. If you have an older toddler, encourage them to learn this scripture a little at a time:

    The LORD will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;

    The LORD will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

    Updates at

    Preschool Cooking Activities l Toddler Activities l Fruit of the Spirit Craft l Development l Toddler Crafts l Toddler Summer Activity l Preschool Alphabet Activities l Preschool Math Activities l Toddler Fine Motor Activities l Toddler Gross Motor Activities l Toddler Midline Activities l Toddler Sensory Activities l 1 year Old Toddler Activities l 2 Year Old Toddler Activities l Free Preschool Activities

    Until next time

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