I frequently ask myself this question. As I posted last week…sometimes I struggle with a guilty conscience and that certainly funnels into my parenting. God is helping me past this in many areas as he helps me see the destructiveness it brings. But I do sometimes wonder…I do homeschool with the girls (2 and 3.5) 3-4 days a week for around an hour. Even though we accomplish a lot during that time, it still feels so minimal compared to the hours they are doing unstructured activity.
Today I got a very firsthand look at how beneficial this time is for my girls. I am sick. Maybe a bad cold, or maybe strep throat but either way my throat is on FIRE and I cannot talk at all. So while I normally try to make as many teachable moments as possible throughout the day, today I was a silent bystander to my toddlers’ ongoing conversations. And I was GREATLY blessed by it.
At breakfast MK lined up her toys in order like this…..
She explained them as smallest, medium and largest- then saying that medium means middle. Then RJ thought she saw a bird outside…but MK said “No, the birdies flew south b/c it’s cold outside.” (Granted, I’m certain she does not know what “south” even means as we have not covered directions yet, this was still a great recollection of information.)
Later I was laying in bed while the girls played on the floor and MK came over to ask if I was “sick in bed”. I said “yes, I’m sorry baby.” She left and came back with her stethoscope, some “medicine” and a drink for after I took the meds. This was all very cute. And then she told me that she was “loving me”. This was the HIGHLIGHT of my day. We have been reading books all about love for Valentine’s Day and just praying that they are soaking up so much of what God’s love looks like. She gets it! And if I would not have shut up and just observed for a while, I may not have gotten to experience that beautiful moment.
There were several other examples today that the dayquil has erased from my memory I’m sure. But I want to just assure you that no matter if you are doing 30 minutes a day of guided activity with your toddlers or 3 hours…it IS making a huge difference in their lives. They are little sponges at this stage. It often takes only 1-2 times of hearing something before they recollect it right now because they don’t have so much extra junk clouding up their minds yet. Enjoy that time and every so often…just sit back and listen. I hope it does not take me having my throat on fire to continue to practice this skil with them!
I also captured some sister blending as well….kind of like cupcakes, but squirmier.