My grandson, Silas and his parents were in the process of moving to a different state. Meanwhile, the lease on their rental expired and unfortunately, an extension couldn’t be negotiated.
This meant that for several weeks they would be staying in different locations, i.e., friends, hotels, and finally with me.
I was just three days into a move myself, so they got thrust into more chaos.
Silas was stressed about all the commotion and upheaval.
His mom and dad could not be out of his sight. He would scream and cry if they walked out of his range of vision. He was clingy and sometimes inconsolable.
The poor little guy was so out of sorts. He was off the charts cranky. He was extra loud and aggressive. He was waking up 3 to 4 times a night.
Toddlers yearn for consistency and boundaries. Silas’ were ripped out from underneath him.
I decided this little boy needs calm. This little boy needs fresh air and the chance to walk his socks off!
I took him to Long Bridge Park, which has wonderful serene trails.
I parked, took him out of his car seat and set him free!
He walked all over the parking lot, all over the mushy recycled tires at the playground. And then, I lead him to the path of the woods.
From the moment we hit the bridge, Silas became silent. He was so present in the moment. The sound of his foot steps, the buzzing of bees, the hopping of crickets, the flutter of butterflies, and his shadow had become his whole world.
We walked more than a mile and he didn’t utter a word.
It was like Nature provided a reset button. Nature has power to shape the mind. Playing outside is how kids work through their stuff. (It’s good for big kids too.)
That evening, we bathed him with lavender oil and his sleep was as sound as our walk.
Tell me your tips and secrets for calming a toddler in the comments below.