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Tips for busy parents

(NC) Spend more time on the things you love, like quality time with the kids and your favourite hobbies, with these super simple tips for super busy parents.

  1. Schedule a weekly planning session. Choose a quieter small block of time to plan key things for the week ahead, like meals, chores and special commitments. Create a shopping list, figure out transportation to playdates and activities, and delegate duties with your partner, other loved ones who can help, and parents whom you trade chauffer and babysitting duties with.
  2. Choose commitments wisely. Learn to say no if something asking for your time doesn’t make you happy or actively benefit you or your family in any way. When it comes to after-school activities for the kids, don’t enroll them in everything ( involve them in the decision-making, asking them to pick one or two things a week they really love.
  3. Rethink challenging behaviour. Instead of trying to “fix” problem behaviours, teach your kids how to deal with their feelings. “Helping a young child learn to recognize when they’re starting to feel frustrated or overwhelmed and offering strategies for how to cope with those feelings in a healthy and constructive way is the best strategy for addressing what might seem like challenging behaviour,” advises Melanie Dixon, a registered early childhood educator.
  4. Banish time wasters. Figuring out where your valuable time is going to waste is the first step to better time management. Do you spend hours scrolling through social media before going to bed? Limit your screen time for better sleep and productivity. Spend hours cooking every weeknight? Spend one weekend afternoon cooking big batches of meals you can reheat throughout the week.
  5. Take some adult time. Everyone needs time to relax and recharge, and parents are no exception. Reach out to your community for support. If you have kids in child care, talk to the registered early childhood educators who work with them. These educators are trained and qualified professionals who can share information about community resources and provide support and suggestions about play experiences.

Find more information about registered early childhood educators at www.college-ece.ca.

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