Children's World shares parenting tips for Single Parent Day
by Children's World Learning Centers
To mark National Single Parent Day on Mar. 21, Children's World Learning Centers, which has a facility in Woodinville, has developed the following suggestions to help parents turn everyday activities into family time:
- Find ways to include children in routine activities that have to be done, such as sorting the laundry, cooking (if your child is too young, he/she can bang on pots and pans), shopping (allow children to help choose items), and visiting a friend.
- Find ways to make routine activities more parent-child friendly: switch off the radio in the car and talk with your child, or select a tape or CD you both want to hear.
- Be very careful before you add another scheduled activity or event to your weekly plans.
- Don't over-schedule your child's time with sports, clubs, school help, and similar activities. Children need time to play, hang out with friends, read books, garden, play with the dog, or build a play house.
- Find relaxing, low-key activities to do together: walks, feeding the ducks at a local park, gardening, going for bike rides, visiting museums (both indoors and outdoors) and nature preserves.
- As your child grows older, find activities that expose him/her to an adult of the gender different from his/her parent: soccer team, gymnastics, scouts, chess club, orchestra.
- Find ways to be with your child where you can accomplish a needed task while your child plays. For example, take your child to a local playground or indoor play area where he/she can play and you can work or write a report.
- Select non-work activities carefully. Volunteer time should be spent on activities meaningful to your child (at his/her school or child care center, etc.).
- If you have more than one child, try to schedule things for all children at the same time: school conferences, dental and doctor appointments.
- Carefully assess people's expectations of your time. If you don't feel you need another parent-teacher conference, don't schedule it. If your parents or friends want to visit but you don't have time, tell them.
- Find employment with a company that is sensitive to the stress of parenting, such as occasionally allowing you to bring your child to work.
- Encourage your employer to provide family and children activities.
- Provide your children with lots of opportunities to play with other children both where you live and on the playground, as well as at children's organized activities.