I wrote this post quite a while ago regarding the years of birth through age two and a half or so here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/01/10/getting-children-into-their-bodies-part-one-birth-to-age-2-and-a-half/. I am still quite happy with this post, but I wanted to add some things here as just gentle food for thought…
Every day, do as much as you can to protect the senses of the small infant and toddler. We are such an overstimulated society; I think the phrase “eye candy” really sums up how our culture has a visual emphasis. We practically overdose our senses, especially our sense of sight, on things that are not true to the reality found in nature, the most beautiful and wondrous of our Creator’s work. If we look about our homes and simplify them into simple scenes where our toddlers can participate in truly meaningful work, where there are simple open ended toys of natural materials, then we have gone a long ways toward promoting the health of our child.
Often we mistake what our small toddler needs and in place of time, space and stability we try to provide new, exciting, stimulating. Yet, the capacities of our small toddler will flourish with a slow, rhythmic, protected introduction to life. Develop your own peaceful soul, your own simple ways of being, and your child will be enveloped in this goodness. Smile at your toddler, love your toddler, tell your toddler every day how strong and helpful they are, wonder and marvel at insects and the sunrise and the wind together. Your children imitate not only your actions, but your thoughts. Be brave, be wise, be beautiful!
And work on those lower body senses. The sense of touch, the sense of life (how do you feel? Can you even tell if you are not feeling well or do you just ignore that and move on?), the sense of movement and the sense of balance.
Every day, no matter the weather, spend hours outside in the morning and the afternoon. There should be opportunities for your toddler to stomp in puddles, in creeks, play in the mud and the sand, walk on forest trails and on the beach, and fully inhabit his home, his yard, his street. Every day! Outside time should be the priority for this age, along with meaningful work.
The shift in toddlerhood occurs because toddler energy needs form. Many mothers will jot down a rhythm to each day the night before. There must be a plan, and you must be the creator….see this for the wondrous opportunity that it is, and not a burden. You can do this and it will be just right for you are the expert on your own family.
Many blessings and peace,