Thursday, December 22, 2011

The End of the Day

Walking in the door with your children at the end of the day can be a stressful time. Think about all the jobs you and your children have to do before bed . . . fix dinner, eat dinner, clean up after dinner, open the mail, do homework, feed the dog, run a load of laundry, put the trash by the road, get lunches ready for the next day, fold the laundry, look over school papers, etc.

Two of the most stressful times with children are the end of the day when you get home and when you are getting ready in the morning. These are times when things can spin out of control.

Often parents turn to TV or a DVD to entertain their children just to buy them some peace and quiet. Although this is ok occasionally, when it is over-used, we find that by the time our children are school-age, they have become nearly addicted to electronic screens.

Here’s an idea: Invest 5 minutes to save 10 minutes. Try to spend at least 5 minutes with your children right after you get home. Your child has actually missed you and needs to reconnect.

Instead of hitting the ground running, build “together time” into your evening. Get down on the floor and play a game with them, relax with your feet up and practice deep breathing exercises together, sit at the table together and play of game of 3 questions each.

Once your child has reconnected with you, they can feel more self-assured and can be on their own while you change clothes or start dinner. Remember to include them in household tasks – because they are an important part of the family and have a valuable role to play in the way the household functions. Give them each a fun job in the kitchen every evening so they can stay close to you while chores get done. You will find that 5 minutes can lead to much more than 10 minutes saved!

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