Daycare can be an emotional experience for children and their parents. With so many of us having to work more than we’d like, it can be hard to know how to balance your mixed responsibilities and feelings.
Quantity over quality should be your mantra, according to Kinderling’s Mothercraft nurse Chris Minogue.
“Ultimately parents need to give their children their full attention, from the minute you pick up your child from daycare, till the time they’re in bed,” says Chris.
Here are seven simple ways to make a meaningful connection with your kids after work each day.
1. Turn off your phone
Switch it off as soon as you walk into daycare and don’t turn it on again until your little ones are asleep for the night.
2. Ask questions about your child’s day
This means coming prepared with an awareness of what activities your child did that day. Make sure you keep on top of your centre's status updates, childcare app, or better yet, have a chat with your child’s carer.
3. Pre-prepare dinner
You don’t want to waste any time with your child trying to make food they probably won’t eat anyway. Childcare centres feed children regularly, so on daycare days your little ones just need something simple for dinner. Try a sandwich, cut-up fruit and vegetables, some cheese, a glass of milk or even scrambled eggs.
Listen to Chris Minogue on Kinderling Conversation:
4. Make bath time fun
Bath is a great first activity after you walk in the door. It will help settle everyone into the evening routine, together. You have to watch them in the bath and you can play and talk at the same time.
5. Think quality over quantity
If you only have an hour and a half with your child in the evening, make it count by offering your full and undivided attention.
6. Be patient
Daycare is tiring for little children. They have to be on their best behaviour and fight for attention among the noise and other kids; this can leave them unsettled and cranky when they get home.
7. Aim for short days (where possible)
Long days are not great for kids in any form of care. Where possible, share pick-up and drop-off with your partner so their days don’t drag on.
Twice as nice: How to survive the first six months with twins
Double the trouble or twice the fun?
6 steps to making an exercise program (and sticking to it!)
Choose exercise that you enjoy and you're much more likely to succeed.
Grieving our stillborn baby: "You experience everything ... but there are no memories"
Silence makes bereaved parents feel that much more isolated.
The top 6 things to have in your handbag to distract the kids (no phones required!)
Mary Poppins could pull almost anything out of her handbag. What things can we fit into handbags of the non-magical type to distract our kids when needed?
Toot, toot! 5 things for your child to do before starting the flute
Wind instrument for the win!
Are your child’s language skills school-ready? Here’s how to tell
Did you know a child’s age should correspond with the number of words they can put together?
Miss me when I'm gone: Skills you most want for your child if you die
The truth is, we can't guarantee we'll always be here, writes Shevonne Hunt.
The age of your child indicates how well they'll do in school
They call it the 'birthday effect'...