As the third and final part of our “Time Out” series, I’d like to discuss finding alternative time outs for you and your child. In the summer, spending constant one-on-one time with your child can cause a lot of problems at home. If you find yourself putting your child in time out far too often, it may be time to consider some other methods. In addition to controlling your own emotions in a stressful situation, parents can find alternative ways to take a break from the stresses of child care. While neglectful parenting is bad,taking even a 20 minute break from helicopter parenting can be beneficial to you and your child’s relationship.
Nap Time & Quiet Time: Kids Occupying Themselves
Most parents take advantage of nap time as a way to keep their children and themselves from burning the candle at both ends. However, even once your child is too old for a midday nap, it’s not a bad idea to schedule quiet time every day. Coloring, reading, puzzles, building with Legos, or other quiet solo activities are a great way to calm down from a high-energy activity. It also teaches your child to have a healthy dose of independence. If you can, take this opportunity to engage in your own separate quiet time activity.
Play Dates: Kids Occupying Each Other
When your child has a playmate, it takes a lot of the stress off you to constantly engage. Keep in mind that this option is more of a time out for you than your child as peers present many more conflicts than parents. Know you’re kid’s socialization limit: some children can spend the day together, others can only spend an hour or two.
Summer Programs & Camps: Professionals Occupying Kids
“Seeking professional help” has never had a better connotation than when applied to summer camps for kids. Many summer programs offer fun, educational opportunities in a safe and social environment. By entrusting a professional child care provider with your child during the day, you can take some time for yourself. And once the day’s activities are over, you can spend more quality time with your kid because you aren’t worn out from a full day of solo child care.
Television & Screens: An Alternative “Time Out” to Avoid
Many parents rely on television, ipads, computers, or other screens to give their children and themselves some down time. Unfortunately, screens can have many negative effects on your kid’s development. Therefore, seriously consider alternatives to television before setting your child down even for an educational program.