(NC) With spring just around the corner, now’s a great time for busy families to re-evaluate their schedules for the year ahead. Registered early childhood educators know how important schedules and routines are for helping create happy and healthy families. Use these tips to help you minimize chaos and maximize quality family time.
Develop a (realistic) plan and get your kids involved.
Every family is unique, and only you know what works for yours. Come up with a plan for how to tackle extracurricular activities, weekday dinners, lunches, and making room for some much-needed downtime that meets both your needs and your kids’. For example, meal planning and batch cooking for the week on a Sunday with your older kids is a great idea for many, but not everyone is a home chef or has the time. Search for no-cook recipes online or get your kids involved in making their lunches the night before.
Evaluate after-school activities.
Ask for your kids’ input. Is everyone excited and committed about their activities? Are some commitments more flexible than others? Think about your priorities now and for later. Routines and schedules are important but every RECE knows that being flexible and going with the flow some days helps both kids and adults relax, stay connected, and be happy.
Make transitions easier.
A little prep work in the evenings can give you time to support your kids in the morning, creating a smoother transition out the door and off to child care or school. Get your little ones involved by asking them to help pick their outfits, and ask older kids to lend a hand getting on coats and packing bags.
When asking your kids for help on either family plans or getting out the door, RECEs remind that you’re not only making your life easier, you’re helping your kids develop independence and self-care skills while boosting their self-esteem. At the start of a busy family day, remember to focus on positive interactions.
Reach out for support.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether that means finding recreational programs or activities for your kids or accessing family support programs. If you have kids in child care, talk to the RECEs who work with them. RECEs are trained and qualified professionals who can share information about community resources and also provide tips and suggestions.
Find information about RECEs at www.college-ece.ca.