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When children are loved they feel safe. This allows them to continue gaining confidence and building skills. Your toddler learns about relationships by seeing how you interact with other people. This learning shapes how they will communicate and behave with others.   

Spending time with children is the greatest gift you could possibly give them. 

Finding time to spend with your toddler

Many people with young children have busy lives. If possible, it is important that you prioritise your time so that you can spend it as a family. Some ways to do this may include: 

  • Use family mealtimes to talk and share ideas and experiences. See eating as a family for more information. 

  • Have one-on-one time with each family member to strengthen each individual relationship  

  • Do regular fun things together as a family, such as go bike riding, play soccer in the park or a family board game at home  

  • Make decisions together about activities, in particular special occasions  

  • Encourage time with friends and extended family  

Encouragement and appreciation help to develop good relationships. Respect and understanding are achieved when you make time to stop and listen to everyone. This might include: children playing

  • Give your toddler a warning notice about plans. For example:  

    • as bedtime is approaching 

    • turning off the TV 

    • leaving the park.  

  • Offer your child choices. These can be set up by you to limit the choices available. For example, do you want a cheese or a vegemite sandwich for lunch?  

  • Give praise regularly for good behaviour 

  • Read stories that show positive values  

  • Work together when possible. This could be playing a game, solving a problem together, decision making or completing family chores together. 

Family time

Your toddlers' relationships influence how they see the world and affect all areas of their development. When your toddler knows they are loved, they can feel safe. For this reason, the time you spend together as a family is something you should treasure. Social skills are developed when you spend time with friends, grandparents and extended family. 

family group photo

Please visit: Building positive relationships for more information.   

Socialising with others

It is important for your toddler to interact with others their own age. Through socialising, your child can learn the following skills:  

  • Self-control 

  • How to make friends 

  • Confidence 

  • Respect 

  • Cooperation 

  • Thinking and imagination 

  • Resilience 

  • Flexibility 

Encouraging your toddler to share and take turns teaches them how to make friends, as well as cope with disappointment.  

The following pages may be useful:  

[Raising Children Network, 2020.]