Blog: Life Management
MOM'S & DAD'S NEED RE-ENTRY STRATEGIES
Let's take a look at that often stressful hour when Mom or Dad "re-enter" after the work day has ended. Making certain activities special to that particular time of day can help relieve tension. One mother calls it the "Play-Doh" hour; because that's the only time her preschoolers are allowed to sit at the kitchen table with their Play-Doh creations spread out around them.
When our children were small while waiting for my husband to get home for dinner – late as always – I used to play Bocce Balls on the kitchen floor "at that time of day" with the kids. It was the only time lawn bowling, or I should say carpet bowling (smaller in size than regular bocce balls), was allowed in the house.
If your child is an infant, be prepared to spend a lot of time holding or rocking her when you first come home. A ritual such as this is very important for babies. They need things to be predictable. For instance, if you sit down and read a story every day then the baby is reassured. Keep the baby with you in the kitchen and let him or her crawl around at your feet or watch you from an infant seat while you cook dinner. And talk, talk, talk. Say things like: "Now I'm taking the spaghetti out of the cupboard." and "Ooh, the refrigerator is cold." It may not make any sense to the baby, but hearing your words and voice is very comforting.
If your kids are older, turn off the television set and forget about getting dinner started for the first half hour. If they want to talk, by all means find out what kind of day everybody had. But even if you just kick off your shoes and watch TV with them, this is a pivotal time for togetherness. You're there and available and that makes them feel they're important in your life.
One last suggestion for coming home to older children – this may be a difficult one for some of you – don't nag or criticize for the first hour after you get home. And, don't even mention homework! This is crucial to the re-entry peace keeping process.
posted on: 3/18/2008 12:00:00 PM by Judy Warmington
category: The Mental Side
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by Judy Warmington
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Judy Warmington, Woman Time Management (owner) -- Busy wife, mother of three adult/married children, grandmother of 10 (5 boys and 5 girls!), former high school teacher (M.A. from W.M.U.), Speaker, Author, Radio Personality, and Trainer of Professional Organizers.