Back to school and work, where routine should now be falling back into place. But with this comes school runs, after school activities, weekend sports, homework and a million and one other things.
When tired or stressed simple things like not having their PE kit washed for school can easily tip us over the edge.
Being proactive is the only way to prevent this.
What exactly is Proactive Parenting?
It sounds like a word you would find in business books—that’s because it is!
We have to approach parenting like running a successful business, if we want to be a success at it and produce successful children.
Simply put, it’s; planning ahead and pre-empting our childrens needs, and taking action to prevent unwanted situations arising, instead of reacting to them once it’s too late.
I know as mums we’re too busy to read, so if you’d like to hear more about Proactive Parenting you can put you feet up with a cuppa and listen to the audio book, available now on Audible below.
Reactive parenting is when all the tears, tantrums, and struggles happen, making us feel powerless, as if our children and their behaviour is out of our control.
So here’s 5 Proactive Pointers to put you in control, without being a controlling parent.
1. The Night Before
To alleviate the morning panic and chaos, decide what everyone will wear and lay school uniforms, PE kits, bags, shoes, homework etc.. out the night before. And make lunches or put the dinner money in an envelope ready.
Ironing school uniforms in the morning when running late is a nightmare!
To save time and stress, choose an hour or so a week (I personally love Sunday mornings to do this) to blast through the ironing pile in one go, and ask your child to read their schoolbooks to you as you iron (of course never leave the iron unattended while children are around). Then that’s homework and iron ticked off in one go. 🙂
Alternatively, pay someone else to do the ironing?
2. Delegate Chores
Affordable ironing services will pick up and drop off ironing and the time and stress they save makes up for the cost.
Shopping online to save time parking and packing can also help.
So can getting the kids to help around the home. Children like to feel grown up. They enjoy sorting the clothes into colours, putting the washing machine on, and pegging the clothes on the line.
When we include them, we’re not multitasking them with chores because they’re enjoying the process.
The difference is the way in which the task is approached and how we treat them. Instead of our children competing with the vacuum cleaner for our attention, while we scream and shout at them over the noise, we can involve them in what we are doing. We stress-less and get help to complete chores, while enjoying some fun ‘Us time’ together.
3. Do it Now
Make a habit of dealing with things as soon as you can, instead of saving them for later, so they don’t all stack up to be an insurmountable mountain, that you have no energy to tackle.
Check your diaries and to do lists today, and do all the things that can be done now.Tweet
If there’s too much that can be done now, is all of it necessary?
If not, can you get rid or delegate it?
Having to buy or make a costume for our children’s Christmas concert, for example, is much easier and far less stressful, if we tackle it the day we find out about it. I’ve often set the school letters aside and thought; ‘I’ll do that nearer the time, at the moment, there’re more important things to do today.’
Then before I know it, the costume has to be taken into school the next day for the show, and I have no time or resources to make one and no time to shop around or get one delivered from the internet either.
Think now or never when you get that letter!
4. SAY ‘NO’ TO TIME TAKERS
Time Takers come in all sorts of disguises, they’re not always people but all have one thing in common, they need you, but you don’t need them.
They can be jobs that need doing, places you have to go to, commitments you don’t need, want or enjoy. Feel free to make your own list, as this will be invaluable in taking that time back in the future. Here are some examples to kick start you off:
• Your boss asks you to do over time.
• Your partner wants you to entertain their friends.
• The dog needs a walk.
• The school needs a volunteer.
• Family is coming to visit.
• There’s a course you must take.
• A friend wants a gossip.
• Email & Social Media notifications keep going off.
• Your Sister needs a babysitter.
• Your Dad needs help with the gardening.
• Your Mum needs a lift to the hospital.
• The housework/decorating needs doing.
All can feel like they urgently need attending to, and all are worthy, loving acts, but you don’t have to be the one who attends to them all, all the time. Doing too much can feel like you’re being stretched beyond your limit, and this scattering of time and attention, anywhere and everywhere, can result in you going nowhere and doing nothing fast.
It’s about learning to say ‘No’ without feeling guilty or upsetting other people, and like anything else, it gets a lot easier the more you practice saying it.
We need to practice saying ‘No’ more often to others, and stop saying ‘No’ to ourselves.
We know what we should be doing to help our children, but often, we just don’t know how or where to start?
Well, routine Muma is the place.
When we’re busy, stressed, and short of time, routines guide us in the right direction, so no one’s confused about what they should be doing, when, and why.
But what routines exactly do our children need?
A routine which includes;
Recreational play time,
Routines create a clear route for us to guide our children. You can read more about The UURSELF Routine here
Of course, no route is ever straight forward, so be prepared for the occasional detour in the form of a sleepless night or change in appetite.
In the meantime, if you’re struggling with a fussy eater, you may be interested in my latest article in mums and tot’s magazine, Autumn issue out now.
If you’d like more proactive parenting /childcare tips, don’t forget to sign up to our monthly newsletter 😊
Stay Present, Em x