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.
Quality over quantity 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.
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