Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Couple Quick Thoughts on 2 Year Olds

Okay, really, this post has been in my head for about a YEAR... since I don't even have a 2 year old anymore. Still, I thought it would be worth noting a few things that have really been a benefit to our family as we have had little ones to raise up. These three things have been great for my one, two, and three year olds.

1) Consistent Lap Time. When I read the Bible aloud in the morning, the bigger children fold napkins and towels and/or color. I tried having the littlest one on a blanket beside me ("blanket time"), with the idea being that I would train them to stay on the blanket while I read. For me, it worked better to put that little one on my lap. (I admit, I quickly tired of straightening the blanket, correcting the child, etc.) With G on my lap, I could hold him tighter if he squirmed and I could prevent him from getting down. This was also great practice for us because during church he needed to sit quietly on our laps for an extended period of time. In essence, we were practicing for church. (But it also comes in handy on flights, in doctor's waiting rooms, and anywhere you would like to contain a squirmy little one for awhile!)

2) Productive Potty Time. I might be the only one, but it seemed I spent a good deal of time in the bathroom waiting for little people to finish so that I could wipe them and help them wash hands. During our toilet training, I kept books on hand (which I didn't really like to have in the bathroom, anyway.) Now, I use that bathroom time to run through catechism questions. It's one on one time with my little man and he loves it when he knows the answers and I make a big deal out of it. Honestly, this just doesn't have another spot in our full homeschooling day, so I'm happy we have a consistent time now to lay down these truths in his little mind. (G will ask me to say "YES!" really loudly when he gets it right.) These are a few of the simple questions that I can remember: Who made you? What else did God make? Why did God make you and all things? Can you see God? Where is God? What is God? Where do you learn how to love and obey God? Who wrote the Bible? Who were your first parents? What did God give Adam and Eve besides bodies?

3) Brother/Sister Time. This has been part of our homeschool day, simply so that I could focus in on older children and help them with their work. However, I've now seen so many added benefits! As each older sibling has 30 minutes with the youngest one, they get to plan their time, choose their activity (usually they are only given 2 options), and I tell them that THEIR goal is to be the teacher/babysitter. G gets one on one time with a variety of siblings every day, which is such a gift! I see how he has special and unique relationships with each of them that have been fostered through their times together. (And, I'm super glad that everyone is engaged in their own activity during our school time. Fewer distractions has been a huge help to this mama!)

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