Summer Time with our Toddlers

This blog is specifically for our Arizona families!

For many past blogs I have spoken about the importance of co-regulation. The wonderful art of regulating our own emotions before reacting to our children. The art of co-regulation is not easy! BELIEVE ME!! However, it is a practice that can really ease many of the tantrums, fits, and outbursts that our very young children experience often. When we are able to regulate ourselves, we become less reactive and more responsive to the needs of our children.

Think of it! When you come home after a hard day of work, and our little ones are asking, needing, and wanting something from us, you are probably not in a calm state. However, we often do not take a moment to check in with ourselves before reacting to that moment. I’m pretty sure when we do react it is with a raised voice, and some little ones getting in trouble.

Co-regulate with Your Toddler

When we co-regulate, we take a moment, check in with how we are feeling, and how our body is feeling. In these Arizona summer days, I am assuming that “hot” is a good description. We are hot, tired, and now angry. Our body responds to all of those stressors, causing us to be extra reactive to our little ones. As you can imagine, it is not the best scenario for you or for them. Keep in mind though, this is a practice.

First, we have to be aware of how we are feeling, do we need to cool down, get changed, give ourselves a moment to transition to our home environment.

Second, we need to attune to how our little ones are feeling, are they hot, hungry, or thirsty. The heat not only makes for a grumpy parent but a grumpy young one.

Next, it is not a bad thing to make sure that we are naming what is happening….” We are both hot and grumpy, let’s take a moment to cool down, and have a drink of water”. This can make the next few moments so much easier. Of course, this is just one scenario of many.

What’s most important is:

  1. Check how you are.
  2. Check how they are.
  3. Name it.
  4. Respond.

Preparing for Toddler Time

The heat in the summer months is a BIG factor when we are becoming less tolerant of our children, but the next factor is BOREDOM. Yep, our little ones may be out of school, or their bigger siblings may be out of school. Either way you have changes happening in your home that are out of your control. Or are they?

Planning and preparing for when boredom strikes is super helpful especially for little ones. Do not rely on the games, toys, and activities they do all the time, but instead create new and fun activities.

Beat Summer Time Boredom with Activity Jar

What I like to do is explore the internet or Pinterest for fun DIY home games! I pick out my favorite 20 things, write them on a popsicle stick, and create a “summer fun” jar. Older children have fun picking out the activities with you! Whenever my little ones get bored, we go to the jar and play that activity.

Sometimes it’s a water balloon fight, DIY water table, water beads, paint party, glow in the dark party, sidewalk chalk, backyard camping, or a nerf war! My favorite…. crayola melting party utilizing the Arizona sun for fun with our box full of crayons. Whatever your activities are the boredom jar helps to meet your child’s needs, while helping you to feel a bit more in control of that summer boredom.

With the summer months there are summer cautions, especially for our very young ones. Please remember to keep an eye on your little ones around water, make sure that you are never leaving your little one in the car, and always HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE. These summer months can be brutal and making sure we have enough water for ourselves and our little ones is definitely a priority!!