Raising a family can be hectic, stressful, and can take a toll on your mental and physical health. Balancing a career and family can be a challenge and parents can often feel that they are not spending the quality time they want with their children due to being pulled in so many different directions and thinking about what needs to be done in the upcoming days and weeks. It is important that families take a step back from being caught up in the busyness of every day life and really enjoy the present moment. At Educational Playcare, being in good physical and mental health is very important to us. That is why wellness is one of our Core Values. This week’s blog provides tips to help families slow down and really enjoy time with each other.
One way to help families feel less rushed throughout the day is to plan ahead and stick to a routine, though that doesn’t mean that you should create a schedule that dictates every moment of your day. For example, families can plan meals ahead of time and then go grocery shopping once a week. This will help eliminate unnecessary trips to the store throughout the week because you don’t have the ingredients, and it will help you to save time and money. Depending on your family members’ schedules, you may also want to start a new routine by picking a specific time each day or a specific day of the week to dedicate to spending time together as a family. This is a great opportunity for families to do some of their favorite activities together or try something new.
Many families do their best to limit their children’s screen time but it’s important to remember to practice what you preach. When we have our phones or tablets near, we all have the urge to take a minute to check our social media pages or emails. When it comes to spending time with your family, even during the few minutes that your child is recapping their exciting day or while you are helping them with their homework, make sure to unplug by leaving your phone in another room so that you can really focus on and enjoy whatever activity you are taking part in with your family.
Another great way families can learn to stay present is through yoga. Some people may think that yoga is just for adults, but it is actually a great activity for the entire family. At Educational Playcare, we offer yoga as part of our Quack Pack Program. Yoga offers many benefits including enhancing body awareness, cultivating a peaceful and relaxed state of body and mind, and increasing self-esteem. Practicing yoga even has benefits for babies. Yoga can help babies sleep better, get relief from gas pains and colic, and it helps them to digest their food better too. Even if it is just for a few minutes each day, children can learn to understand the value of quiet, peaceful stillness through yoga.
Some days no matter how much planning you put into ensuring the day runs smoothly, things just don’t go your way. If this is the case and you know your day will be full of playing catch up, involve your children where you can. Dinner can take up a large part of the evening between preparation and clean up, so why not have your child help you out? Even if the actual dinner preparation is something they can’t help with, find age-appropriate tasks they can help with such as setting the table or clean up after themselves. This gives families the opportunity to spend time together and also encourages children to follow directions. You may be able to get some of your tasks done faster on your own, but you never know what memories you might make by involving your children in the everyday activities they normally may not be a part of.
When we spend time with our children, it can be difficult to fight the urge to pick up our phones and snap a picture or video of them, especially when it seems that each day they are doing something new and incredible. Naturally, families want to document the big moments, like the first time your child rolls over or when they take their first steps, but we encourage families to try their best to step away from being behind the camera and be present to enjoy each moment they spend with their family.
How does your family try to stay more present?