Connecting with your little one is essential on so many levels. Sleep, behaviour, potty training, feeding and long term behaviour issues are very strongly influenced by your engagement with your child. At times in my practise I see a family who come to me for something very concrete – such as a 9 month old who won’t sleep or a two year old with severe temper tantrums but when we sit together we realize that the solution is simply a matter of spending quality time engaging with their little one.
It may sound strange, but just 15 minutes on the floor with your little one can actually solve sleep problems, help with feeding and prevent temper tantrums. I believe that due to our busy lives and frenetic lifestyles, many adults have forgotten how to play and how to ‘just be’ with their baby. And play and spending quality time doing very little are simple secrets to engaging with your child.
If play and spending time doesn’t come naturally to you, follow these simple steps:
- Set aside 15 minutes every day – make it a discipline.
- Turn off your cell phone and put down your tablet – completely away
- Go to a special space with a box of simple toys – a kit of 5 toys is enough – a few blocks, a car, a dolly, a book and a toy cup can be enough to invite a wonderful play session.
- Sit on the floor with your little one and Watch, Wait and Wonder:
1. Watch him and do nothing
2. Wait for him to invite you to play with his chosen toy – he may look at you or touch you or hand you a toy
3. Wonder at the amazing games your little one brings to your time together.
As simple as this sounds, it will do two things: You will learn how to play again and you will ‘Just Be’ with your little one.
And I promise you, things will change – sleep may become easier, mealtimes less of a fight or simply behaviour will settle. Please, please try it and let me know how it goes!