Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Magazine-style advice for parents

When children come home from school, let them unwind, fix them a healthy snack. Ask them open ended questions about their day, to show them you are interested, and to gain insight about what is happening in their lives.

Engage them in exercise. Children today are too sedentary, leading to soaring childhood obesity rates. Encourage them to get outside and be active.

Foster a learning environment, and assist your child in getting started with homework. Even kindergardeners have simple homework these days. Encourage them to get started, but do not help them too much. Let them struggle a little bit with the assignment, even if it makes it take 30 minutes longer and results in a very messy page, full of eraser marks. Even if you really should be getting started on that dinner.

To teach your child gratitude, make sure she writes those thank you notes that you both have been too busy to get to, especially since now her birthday party was 5 weeks ago. Divide it up into easy goals, like doing one card each night. Even though this will now seem like a chore to your child. Gently discourage whining. Set a good example and do not whine yourself.

Have you made that home cooked meal yet? Children who eat meals made at home eat more fruits and vegetables, are more varied eaters as teenagers, and suffer less obesity. Make sure everyone is able to sit down and engage in conversation over the healthy meal you have lovingly prepared.

To teach your child responsibility, remind her that she needs to pick up all the toys she spread over the entire surface of her bedroom floor before it is bathtime. Otherwise, she will have to finish the task during storytime. She failed this time trial yesterday, resulting in much howling, and the anxiety of a possible repeat is nearly paralyzing her. Gently guide her back to the task at hand.

Bathe your children. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

Most of today's children are sleep deprived. This leads to less learning in school and more tantrums. Get them to bed at a reasonable hour. If they always dawdle, just start 30 minutes earlier.

Now go drink that glass of wine you never finished at dinner. Alcohol, in moderation, helps parents relax.


Emily said...

You do a great job, Jenn.
Hear, hear to the wine.

get2eric said...

And here, here too!

Jess said...

I wish someone would read me a story before bed....


P.S. My mom told me today that she was offered a job in Brazil...looks like I need to learn some Portuguese.


Leah said...

GREAT advice...even though I don't have childern....hmmm..maybe I could use some of this on my husband or dogs.....

Sinda said...

You forgot this: Now, try to accomplish this between the hours of 5:30 and 7:30, every night. God luck!

I'm eternally grateful that we have no and will have no HOMEWORK!

EdamameMommy said...

Funny! But now I get to do all that and I'm supposed to "take it easy" because I'm DIALATING and CONTRACTING!

ColeBugsmommy said...

A mothers work is never done.