Hi, I’m Hayley. I am the mother to three wonderful children. Two of whom I hold in my arms and one in my heart. Sadly, my first born passed away at just seven months old. It’s never easy to explain or write about, however when I introduce myself, I always have to face this reality. I don’t like to leave out the special boy who taught me the extremes of motherhood and how I use that courage to raise his siblings.
I am also a Parent Coach, specialising in the toddler years. After 20 years of working with children and families, my mission now is to share my professional and personal experiences to provide support, guidance and kindness to parents. So, they feel more confident when facing challenges or key milestones. Little Ones At Home was built on this principle. A passion for families to be able to embrace the highs and lows of family life.
Toddlers can encounter challenges in everyday life, moving home, the arrival of a new sibling, dealing with a death of a loved one, changing schools. The more support, nurturing, and building emotional resilience they receive as children, the better they’ll be able to handle challenges and develop basic skills and habits as adults.
We can do little things as parents to promote emotional resilience in toddlers. To build up protective factors to support them when faced with challenging situations.
Building Strong Healthy Relationships
It is said that parental interactions are the most powerful influences on emotional resilience in toddlers. What a lot of pressure! But actually, quality interactions can go a really long way. Striving for at least 10 minutes of quality time with children without distraction can have an extremely positive long-term impact. Yes, just 10 minutes is required.
It would be easy to say that playing all day with your child will keep them happy, but how realistic is that? However, I find ten minutes is an achievable goal even on a busy day. This little challenge gives me confidence and provides my little ones with the positive attention they seek.
Developing Independence & Self-Help Skills
As a mum I know it’s easy to get into a flow of doing everything for everyone. In fact, sometimes it’s easier and quicker to just get on with it. However, children seek and thrive from being independent. If you have a toddler, you may be familiar with the term “I do it!”. Being independent feels good- for all of us – it promotes self-esteem a feeling of being proud.
We can do this with little things like putting shoes on, choosing clothes, pouring drinks, having a stool available for hand washing, brushing teeth… all these little things can be part of the routine to develop these skills.
Learn To Identify Express & Manage Feelings
Emotions are complicated to deal with when we are so connected to our children. When they feel big feelings or course we do as well! Even though our children are little, boy do they have big, big feelings. This is a huge subject that I talk lots about with parents, but one small way to teach children about emotions is the reading of books – characters in books feel all sorts of emotions, talking, asking and discussing character feelings can have a powerful impact on an engaged child.
Build Confidence Through Challenge
Setting challenges for little ones empowers them to learn new skills, take risks, feel trusted and problem solve, all such wonderful ways to build confidence. In busy households we may miss opportunities for children to take up challenge, or we fear they won’t do it properly, safely or in a good timeframe. By giving children age-appropriate challenges they learn so much about themselves, that even a small challenge will empower them.
Examples of this could be: chopping mushrooms for dinner, watering plants, washing up cups, putting recycling in the bin, matching washed socks, cleaning windows, setting the table etc. Just little jobs that they can achieve independently.
These are just a few ideas to promote emotional resilience in toddlers using everyday activities with little preparation or overthinking. It’s natural to think that you want to protect your little one from having to face any challenge, but unfortunately that wouldn’t be unrealistic. However, taking these little steps can make a big difference to mental health and developing coping strategies.
You can reach out to Hayley over at Little Ones at Home if you want help supporting your child during a challenging time. For blog and service updates, as well as to learn more, visit Little Ones at Home’s Instagram and Facebook pages. Hayley shares a lot of great advice regularly.
Grit & Glamour Club is where you’ll find my latest posts. Think chatting to a good friend and expect to read articles on motherhood, self-care and work-life, home-life balance.