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Building Bonds with Your Toddler

Mom, your bond with your toddler is solid, right?  But your teen kids, well, they may not be feelin’ the love so much.  And Dad, who may not be able to be home with the kids as much as you are, well, he doesn’t always have the bonding opportunities that you have.  Here are a few activities that you (Mom) can set up to build bonds between your toddler and his teen siblings and his dad.

Bonding Activities
Volunteerism (i.e., walking dogs at your local animal shelter)

Family movie nights (don’t forget the popcorn!)

Being silly (all kinds of silliness . . . be fun, inventive, and, well, silly)

Dancing (turn up your stereo at home and dance, dance, dance!)

Sports (toss the ball around in the yard, go swimming, or wrestle)

Taking a nature hike

Geocaching

Physically active and interactive video gaming (i.e. Wii)

Hide and seek

Show and tell

Charades

Board games

Reading aloud

Shared projects (i.e., jointly making a birthday present for someone, cooking a meal, etc.)

Holiday events (i.e., Christmas decorating, Halloween trick-or-treating, etc.)

Attendance at the toddler’s school events

Spending time listening, asking questions, and praising (i.e., How do you do that?  How was your day today?  Good job!  I love you!)

Benefits

Toddlers who are bonded with their older siblings tend to have stronger social and verbal skills than toddlers who do not.  They also tend to have higher self-esteem.  Family time tends to be more harmonious and synergistic rather than fractious and individually-focused.

Toddlers who are bonded with their dads tend to have fewer behavioral and psychological problems, a reduced incidence of criminality later in their lives, increased social and verbal skills, and increased self-esteem.

With all these significant benefits, what’s not to love about building bonds between your toddler and his teen siblings and his dad?  By arranging activities such as those listed above, you can foster this bonding and help your family reap the benefits!

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