The holiday season is filled with wonder. The sights are bright, the smells are luscious and the sounds are beautiful. Giving your child the gift of tradition is one of the great joys of being a parent. Holiday traditions ground us to who we are and the values of our childhood and passing them on to our children help to keep the child in us alive.
Every year as we head into the winter break we think about the children that came in the door just a few short months ago and how they have changed and grown in the classroom. The children are moving with confidence, toileting independently, changing their own clothes when needed, as well as enjoying community meals where they set the table and feed themselves.
This holiday season as you travel, shop, cook, attend and/or host parties, remember that your child needs a consistent routine. Toddler aged children especially need for their days to be as normal as possible. Try to plan for naptime and mealtimes to remain the same and remember that the toileting process is especially important for your toddler.
Your child is making great strides in becoming independent, so you will want to allow him to practice these new skills over the break. Commit to keeping your toddler in cotton underwear over the time away from school. You can purchase underpants that have a protective outer layer to safeguard holiday clothing, but avoid using diapers or disposable underpants, as these will hinder your child’s progress. Be prepared for public settings and travel by packing extra clothing, a small travel potty and a bit of extra time. Also, remember to stick to a schedule and remind your child to use the toilet if he is not yet asking or telling you that he needs to go.
Remember, this is a very short window of time that you will need to be this diligent in protecting your child’s routine, but the benefit is immeasurable. This toddler stage of development is where foundations are laid and the stronger that foundation the more confident and self-assured your child will become. As the adults in the child’s life, our job is to prepare the environment for him to have the best possibility for success. There has been much hard work in the Toddler Community thus far and your child truly deserves continuity and support as he moves into the New Year.