Parent beware! All too often, the importance of our own ‘playtime’ without the kids falls by the wayside. As we get older, our priorities shift to expanding our family, spending evenings and weekends running household errands, picking up our kids from extra-curricular activities… the list goes on and on. Of course, these obligations do take precedence, but what about the importance of spending time with your friends in order to maintain strong relationships?
QUESTION: I’m trying to decide if my children are ready to be home alone for short periods of time. I’m thinking specifically of the time after school until I arrive home from work, or in the evening when I attend a meeting or go out to dinner. How can I tell when it’s okay to get by without a babysitter?
When a new baby comes along, we take the responsibility of caring for it; learning the meaning of every cry, making sure it is warm and safe, checking to see if it is breathing when everything seems too peaceful to be true. Our job as parents is to make everything right for this new baby who needs us to fix every problem. The first few days after childbirth are a fuzzy memory to many of us. Functioning on little to no sleep and in a haze of great awe, we struggle to figure out this bundle in our arms: Hungry? Sleepy? Gassy? We are supposed to know this baby better than anyone and we do - but the learning curve is steep and the language confusing.
One of the very best parenting tools is the parent time-out. When parents are feeling upset, angry or frustrated over a parenting issue - or over their children’s behavior - it can help to diffuse the situation if the parent removes themselves to get calm and centered, rather than force the isolation of their child into a child time-out. After the parent is calm, they are in a much better frame of mind to deal with the issue at hand and they’ve avoided saying and doing things they might regret later.
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2020 Calgary’s Child