Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How to have a smooth day with your child.

Here are a few suggestions from my experience, on how to have a smooth day with your child, getting housework and office work done as well as spending quality time with the child.   (This is mainly for people who don't have a support system in place - no grandparents to look after the grandchild,  or don't employ maids.)

* Follow the child's lead.  If you have planned out one activity, and if your child wants to do something else instead, respect that (within the limits of reason, of course.)  It will be easier for both of you. 

* When you're introducing a new activity, if the child doesn't seem to be interested in it even after you've tried for a while, or if he's not getting the hang of it, and is getting frustrated, then stop, and try after a couple of weeks.  There is nothing like "He OUGHT to do it, I'm sure he'll like it/I'm sure he'll be able to do."  Once you set the atmosphere, a child usually takes the lead - and can surprise you with what he is ready for.  Pushing doesn't work.

*Kids don't like it if you keep getting up and going to do something in the middle of an activity.  So clear everything up before you sit down.  That way, your mind will also be completely on the work on hand.

* Limit sugar.  I somehow didn't believe it before, but sugar really gets children on a high.  Unless you are going out to the park a little later, avoid giving the child excess sugar.  She'll just get hyperactive and not sit in one place, and not let you sit in one place either.  

* Get the child to do some physical activity. - An everyday trip to the park is wonderful for the child.  Fresh air, physical exercise to expend all that energy.  And when he comes back, he will be hungry and tired, will eat without a fuss, and drop off to sleep in no time.   If it is raining, or a park is not possible for some reason, dance/jump/skip at home together, preferably to music. 

* Devise ways and methods to get your cooking done faster and easier.  After your weekly vegetable shopping, process all the vegetables and store them in the refrigerator, so that when you go to get your cooking done, half of your work is already taken care of.  This way, you can get all the necessary, but in a child's eye - time-consuming work - out of the way as quickly as possible.

* Limit television.  Save it for those days when you are exhausted and cannot think and the best thing to do is to plonk the child in front of the TV. 

[Slight digression:
The thing about TV is that
- You don't have any control on what the child watches.  You can sit and watch with her, but yet, you don't know what is just around the corner.
- Playing children's movies and CDs is slightly better in the sense that it gets over, and you can stop. 
- It can be addictive in geometric progression.  You get a huge chunk of time with no effort at all when the child is in front of TV, so you find this option attractive. The child gets endlessly entertained without having to lift a finger, and without having to use her brains, so the child finds it attractive.  

If your child is already much into television, do try to cut back (I wouldn't know how.  But my aunt had made a nice rule for my cousin (who was about 6, I think at that time.)  During the holidays, he could watch one hour of television through the day.  He could chose his programme among the pre-approved ones, but that's it - one hour of television viewing of his choice.  I remember him poring over the TV guide, analyzing, deciding, and finally zeroing in on what he wanted to watch, and STICKING TO IT.  IF your child isn't an addict yet, then keep it that way for as long as you can.  Perhaps someday you will lose out anyway, but I don't want to sound pessimistic.  I hope that these initial years when you've kept her away from television might influence her TV viewing options for the rest of her life. 

The important thing is that you need to provide attractive alternatives to television.]

* Involve the child in your housework.  So that it is not as if you are rushing around finishing everything while your child is waiting for you.  If the child wants to help, let him.  It might slow you down, but he's learning something.

* If you are working from home, do your work when the child is asleep/or when she is not likely to disturb you.  It gets over faster that way.   And perhaps it is not wise to take on more than you can finish in one day.  I know nobody else can tell you how much work to do, but it helps if you are not rushed all the time. 

But this isn't easy.  To entertain an enthusiastic kid all through the day is exhausting - for which you need some activities that'll keep you energetic and recharged.  I'll get to that in the next post.

Meanwhile, please do share your tips and suggestions on this topic.

Also read: Things to do with children during the vacations


Anonymous said...

beautiful ma'm!!

Anonymous said...

These tips are quite helpful. But, an incident I remember from my childhood is, my parents were strict with us watching TV too. Still we would get to watch a half hour of cartoons in the night daily. And my brother would be sneaking around for a glimpse at TV anywhere. And it got embarrassing after a while, because when we went to friend's or relatives places.. he would just act up and take the remote and not budge. Any amount of "telling" him would not make him listen, more so, because he knew that outside the house parents have less control over situations. So my parents found it hard to control his TV "addiction".

Anonymous said...

hi Shruthi :)
i just started blogging... cos just like u said i think it lets ur ideas flow uninterrupted :)

and then to see if any one else with the same name blogs.. i just googled my own name.. and thus i came across yours!! :)

i couldnt resist posting this-
i happen to have spent 3 hours on your blog now!(when i am supposed to be working on my project!)
plus when you come across someone who thinks so much like you do.. u tend to get more curious :P so i went on to read more posts of yours..

anyway its great to read what you write.. keep going! :)


Bubble Catcher said...

really helpful tips.totally agree with the one about letting the little one help with the chores.Though it is easier to get the jobs done on our own, sometimes the joy they get in 'helping':) us makes up for the little delays.

Shruthi said...

Nithya, glad you liked it!

Anon, I think in your brother's case, he wanted to watch TV, but in Puttachi's case, she is not really interested. If I let her watch something, she watched quite happily, but she never herself shows interest, and very rarely ask for it herself. I think that is the difference. Of course, it might change in future, and I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Shruti, welcome! :) Glad you enjoyed reading my blog! All the best with blogging, and next time, do leave a link to your blog.

Bubblecatcher, :) Yeah they look so proud and important, it's such fun!

starry eyed said...

I agree on the sugar. It's an instant reaction here!

And agree even more on the's a self-feeding progression to addiction! Do you know, not once have my kids complained that they're bored in the last 6 weeks? Removing or restricting the TV definitely makes them self-reliant.

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