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Building a Strong Parent-toddler Bond: Quality Time and Connection

Enhance parent-toddler bond with quality time. Discover ways to foster connection and strengthen relationships for lifelong benefits.

Providing Quality Childcare Since 2012   Infants, Toddlers & Preschool  •  Daycare Centre

Building a parent-toddler bond is one of the most rewarding aspects of parenting, as it lays the foundation for the emotional well-being and social and cognitive development they will benefit from throughout their life. Because juggling with work, home, and chores requires a lot of time and work, you may discover that developing such a bond with your child can sometimes be challenging. 

In this article, we explore how you can create and enforce this bond, ensuring your child will know to initiate and maintain healthy relationships as an adult.

Why is a Parent-toddler Bond Essential

Why is a Parent-toddler Bond Essential?

Such a bond is vital for your child because you are the first person he has a relationship with, the person he trusts (the most) in the world, and because he looks up to you.

Why Do Toddlers Cling to One Parent?

Many parents find their toddlers clinging to one of their two parents. The good news is that, according to child behaviour experts, this is not uncommon but rather a tactic that provides your little one with the attention he needs. 

Usually, children younger than five rely on a parent who spends more time with them. That is why they instinctually gravitate towards that parent and show little interest in the other parent. This doesn’t imply that the toddler has no love for the other parent. 

It is just their attitude towards the parent he is less familiar with who, according to the toddler, is less predictable than the parent that usually takes care of him for the most time.

Why Do Toddlers Cling to One Parent

Parent-toddler Bond: Do Toddlers Prefer One Parent?

Do Toddlers Prefer One Parent

Yes, and that happens because the toddlers want to stay connected to the parent who meets their needs and spends more time with them. 

This connection is called ‘hierarchies of attachment,’ a frequent behaviour in which little ones prioritise certain relationships over others and rank their parents based on who is around them the most. As they grow, toddlers become more comfortable with both parents and favouring one of them disappears over time.

What Can You Do When Your Toddler Has a Favourite Parent?

In brief, you need to:

  • know this is a temporary situation;
  • don’t take it personally because your child loves you as much as they love his other parent;
  • don’t feel guilty since this is a frequently manifested behaviour in toddlers, and you cannot prevent it.
What Can You Do When Your Toddler Has a Favourite Parent

Parent-toddler Bond: How Do I Know If My Toddler Has Bonded With Me?

Toddlers know how to show their affection and if they have formed a parent-toddler bond.  

When that happens, they might:

Give you lots of kisses and cuddles

By 15 months, children are delighted to kiss, cuddle, and hug you. So be prepared for this river of affection.

Seek comfort from you

If your little ones come running to you for a hug after they fall or ask for cuddling after having a nightmare, you have certainly developed a parent-toddler bond that will help them navigate childhood with the confidence you are always in their corner.

Imitate your behaviour

Toddlers master the art of imitating you, which is a pure compliment from their hearts. They may surprise you by trying to hold your cup of coffee, or you may be amused by how they arrange their hair in the mirror, all in an effort to be like you.

Show that you are their Number One person

Toddlers are always interested in showing you their latest “discoveries”. They are keen to answer your questions, get your feedback on their achievements, and check your reactions to their explorations or projects. This indicates that your parent-toddler bond is authentic since you are the person whose opinion they value the most in the world. 

You are also the person they trust and care for the most : when they are in a new environment, they will oscillate between boldly exploring the surroundings and returning to you for a short moment of reassurance.

How Do I Know If My Toddler Has Bonded With Me

How To Build a Strong Parent-toddler Bond

When it comes to advice on how to raise a child who will enjoy a healthy, achieved and balanced life as an adult, you might have heard the saying: “Be there for your child it matters the most”. While we agree with this advice, it is not limited to being physically around your kid. A bond with your little one is made from all the moments you share, engaging in activities, experiences and meaningful conversations for him.

This is our list of parent-toddler bonding activities

Talk to your toddler and acknowledge his feelings

A healthy relationship with your child is based on listening, as this is how you learn his interests, passions or struggles. 

When your child is upset or hurt, it may be difficult for him to express these feelings, and you must teach him how to do that. By helping him understand and express how he feels, you acknowledge these feelings, showing him that you value them. This will help him become a person who trusts the ones around him and knows how to communicate what he experiences, paving the way towards healthy relationships in the years to come.

Talking to your child is invaluable because it enables you to identify common interests (like dancing, painting, or sports, for instance) and detect problems whenever your child has them.

You can start applying open communication at an early age: by explaining to your child that your conversations will always take place in a safe place where you will not judge or punish him, you help him understand that he can always rely on your support and guidance. It will encourage him to always be honest, even in difficult moments he may encounter later in life.

Spend time and play with your child

Seeing you in the evening when you return from work may be the highlight for your toddler, who wants to spend time and play with you. And even though on some days this may be a challenging task, it is vital to do it so you strengthen the bond with your child. Moreover, this will make your child feel loved and very important to you.

You can engage in activities he prefers, whether playing Musical Statues, exploring a sensory bin, playing with bath toys in a tub filled with extra foam, or reading his favourite story with the character impersonating.

These parent-child bonding activities enable you to explore the world through your child’s eyes and are powerful tools for nurturing your relationship.

Show your children love

According to a study published in 2010, babies who receive regular and loving physical contact like hugs display considerable progress in their brain’s development. Physical affection is essential for the emotional and physical growth from the early stages of their lives because it makes them feel loved and safe. This cultivates a high self-esteem that contributes to their becoming emotionally balanced adults who will establish and nurture healthy relationships.

Be sincere and authentic in the relationship with your child

You are a role model for your child, which entails that he will involuntarily integrate some of your reactions and behaviours into his conduct. Therefore, it is paramount to be sincere and authentic in your interactions: By apologising when you make a mistake and telling them when you are sad or tired and need a minute to pull yourself together, you show them that you are not perfect and that they don’t have to be either.

Keeping your promises shows your little ones that they mean the world to you and that you take them seriously. By inspiring them to adopt the same behaviour, they will develop a sense of authenticity, integrity and honesty from an early age, which will be a vital asset in their adult life.

A strong parent-toddler bond entails an everyday commitment to your child’s healthy emotional, physical, social, and cognitive development. This bond enables you to teach your child the skills he needs to enjoy a fulfilled life and to feel loved and appreciated, which in turn helps cultivate high self-esteem and success.

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Our Early Learning Centres

Our early childhood centre environments strongly reflects our inspiration – The Reggio Emilia philosophy, from Reggio Emilia, Italy.

We provide a creative and open ended environment that encourages infinite learning for the children and strong relationships between teachers, children and families.

The day’s routines are flexible. At the same time, care is taken to recognise and respect each child’s needs.

Playground at Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre childcare in Howick, Auckland
Child playing in BBELC - Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre Childcare (1)

Why Choose a Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre?

Here's what our parents say about our childcare centres

Come and visit one of our childcare centres and see for yourself why your child will love it

Talk to the Centre Manager, meet the team, see the natural outdoor play areas and educational rooms, learn about how we develop our programs and find out more about our unique approach to partnering with our families.

Our latest parent reviews from Google

Tanya Vester
Tanya Vester
2023-05-27
Our sons attended Bright beginnings early leaning Centre and absolutely loved it. They attended Manuka and Kowhai rooms, and later also Pohutukawa room. The teachers in all three rooms were just SO lovely, caring, attentive and supported their learning journeys and communicated the children’s achievements with us. We are so thankful for the time our kids were able to spend there, and the kids made great memories for life. We highly recommend BBELC to anyone looking for a child care center. We had to leave due to moving overseas and will miss BBELC so much!!!
Sukhpreet Singh Mediratta
Sukhpreet Singh Mediratta
2022-10-09
"I don't think I can express in words the gratitude I feel towards you all. My child, Amrin have learnt so much in your care that will stay with her for life. I believe their fondest memories of childhood will include many of you - I truly hope you are all extremely proud your efforts with our children. Thank you for all the wonderful support and care you have given to my daughter. This Centre is a very special place and she has grown so much in your nurturing, inspiring and challenging environment. You are really helping her to prepare for her school foundation." Actually, this is a second home for Amrin, she started her journey from BBELC, Auckland and will leave for school from here. Thanks to all the teachers, If I start typing the names, the list will be so long. In last especially I should not forget Nikita, who is so understanding and caring towards kids as well as families. Thank you with much love."
Anaru Pui
Anaru Pui
2022-10-06
We've had our daughter Waikohu pui in the center for over 1 year now And she has Developed into such a beautiful kind person and has gained some great life skills and experiences thank you to all the teachers for there support and care with our baby girl making life alot easier knowing shes getting great education and Aroha (Love) from all the teachers at her Kura ( school ) thanks again ❤️ from the Pui whanau
Jagroop Kaur
Jagroop Kaur
2022-10-06
Teachers are very kind and patient. Also they encourage children to learn in different indoor and outdoor activities. I am so pleased in POHUTUKAWA room the teacher do the school transition program, which is really helpful to the kids enter the primary school in the future. Thanks all teacher who support VIRASAT and other kids there quite well.
anne dela cruz
anne dela cruz
2022-10-05
We have been with BBELC Hamilton since 2020 during the peak of pandemic and I never doubted to bring my children here knowing that they are on a safe place and the team are all aware of the best health and safety plan to ensure that everyone in the centre are safe. The centre is the BEST for me in terms of CLEANLINESS (the place os very tidy), SAFETY OF CHILDREN (only parents/caregivers can enter the premises on their pin coded door), FRIENDLY STAFF (you will be greeted by a very friendly receptionist, you can talk to the teachers about your concern with your child), OPEN DOOR POLICY (Manager’s door is open all times for parents for any concern or question), NUTRICIOUS FOOD for our kids, SCHOOL READINESS PROGRAM (table activities, book reading, sharing with others, simple literacy), MAT TIME IS THE BEST as the kids learn to socialize, listen to teachers, story telling, yoga, dance time, music time,etc. and they also held PARENTS TIME where we can chat with the teacher about our kids, meet other parents, share experiences and strategies, parents gets treat and gift on special occasion like mother’s day and father’s day that will definitely make your day as a parent. And lastly for few years now, my kids have enjoyed their Christmas party where they get gift and enjoy bouncy castle, it’s simple but the experience and memories will be lifetime. THANKS TO ALL THE STAFF AND TEACHERS OF BBELC Hamilton! KUDOS TO ALL YOUR HARDWORK AND DEDICATION. CHEERS TO MANY MORE YEARS OF SUCCESS! - DELA CRUZ Family ( Robb and Reuben)
Shirley
Shirley
2022-10-05
I love BBELC and my child love it too. As parents ,my husband and I deeply appreciate the staff being friendly ,kind ,patient ,role models and caring .The educators work well with parents to achieve the children’s developmental goals , the manager Leonie and Teachers Mari, Kathryn, Summer and Emma really care about the children and very welcoming. The childcare is secure and this gives us peace of mind in knowing that our little ones are in good hands and safe . The classrooms are clean and nicely decorated. I highly recommend sending your child to this center. It’s become our second home.
ANN KURIYAN
ANN KURIYAN
2022-10-05
BBELC is an awesome environment for my daughter to learn and grow through different types of activities. All the staffs are friendly, supportive and helpful. Highly recommended to all.
Neda Bolouri
Neda Bolouri
2022-10-05
A safe, happy and caring place for our children.
Norvega Bantang
Norvega Bantang
2022-09-30
Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre - Hamilton is like a second home to my 2 little girls. They are very supportive of the children’s early learning and individual development. The rooms are spacious, warm and cozy and provide different kinds of resources for the children to explore. My girls are always excited to go to kindy every morning. Since I have also recently become part of this centre, it’s good to know and see for myself how things work in the centre and how very passionate the staff are in looking after every child like they are family. As a parent, it gives me the peace of mind that my children are in good hands and are well taken cared of. Definitely made the right decision to enroll our children here.
Diana Villa-Ignacio
Diana Villa-Ignacio
2022-09-30
BBELC is a wonderful centre which caters to quality care and learning of children. We take pride in our relationship with parents , whanau and children having positive environment, open communication, flexibility, catering to children needs and working alongside parent's aspiration for their children. Feel free to come and see our Hamilton centre. We will be happy to show you around and be part of our Bright Beginnings Family.

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