PARENTING TIPS, Proactive Parenting, Routine, STRESS-LESS PARENTING, The U URSELF Routine

5 Proactive Pointers to- STRESSLESS PARENTING

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.

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.    SAYNO’ 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.

5. Routines

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,

Sleep,

Exercise,

Love,

Food.

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

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TO DO OR NOT TO DO?

Surely, none of us would have chosen to become parents in the first place, had we thought we would end up angry, frustrated, nagging, stressed out, sleep deprived, nervous wrecks?

WHAT HAPPENED?

We become parents with the sole intention of enjoying every moment with our children, and to love, cherish and appreciate the joy they bring.

Ok, admittedly before our bundles of joy arrived, we envisioned a beautifully decorated nursery, where our new arrival would sleep like a baby, peacefully through the night.

We never thought as far as the colic, teething, bedwetting, sleepless nights, and the crayon all over the walls, or the bombsite a toddler would create, in their once beautiful bedroom.

And it’s doubtful any of us could have imagined tantrums in the supermarket and brawls on the playground, as we daydreamed of building sand castles at the beach and sunny days playing in the park?

But have our children let us down, or have we all just been naively seduced by the notion of what parenting should be like?

The truth is parenting can be a joyous experience full of fun times together, but like any other relationship, it does take a lot of time and patience to build rewarding, loving relationships with our children.

It doesn’t matter what parenting tools or techniques we use, or how much advice we receive from others, without enough time to devote to our children, it’s all worthless and ineffective.

The good news, however, is that it only takes time to build those happy, healthy, and successful relationships with our children.

But we have to make the time for it.


STREAMLINING

Having too many things on our ‘to do list’ takes our time and attention away from our children.

We would certainly all be more effective and more relaxed parents, if we did not have so many plates spinning in the air. The frustration arises, when we try to keep all those plates in the air and the inevitable happens, we drop a few.

As our children are those closest to us, they’re naturally more loving and forgiving than anyone or anything else in our life.

We certainly can put them off a lot easier than we can our Boss or our Tax Return. Sadly, for those reasons they are the ones who suffer the most when we are busy doing too many other things.

Even when we are spending time with our children, all too often we tend to still be thinking of past work or relationship issues, or fretting about the future, instead of concentrating on them.

Understandably with our busy schedules and hectic lifestyles, our minds can and do easily wander from the trivia of our children’s conversations or complaints, to our more pressing grown up issues.

We will all be more efficient and effective parents though if, we learn how to streamline our commitments. For parenting to run smoothly, we have to be organised, but too many diaries, schedules, plans and to do lists, just keeps us constantly busy.

Seeing in black and white everything everyone else wants us to do, and how much has to be done, can feel daunting. And putting a slot in our diaries for our children’s ‘Us Time’ can easily get lost.

The less plates we have spinning, the less breakages we are responsible for, so it’s time to drop those ‘Time Takers’ once and for all.

Keeping one diary and one intention for the day; to be happy spending time doing what we love, with those we love most, is all we really need.