Mom guilt. It is inevitable that you are going to feel it. With families living, learning, working and playing all together under one roof parents are being pulled in so many directions, wearing many hats and feeling the guilt that comes with all of that.
Here are three tips to help ease your feelings of mom guilt and also help your kids cope when you can’t be at their beckon call 24/7.
Tip 1: 10 Minutes of Child Directed Play Each Day
Our kids crave time with us, it makes them feel special and connected with the ones they love and trust. But it is not realistic for parents to play with their kids ALL DAY LONG. Reasearch shows that spending 10 minutes a day engaging in 1 on 1, child directed play with your kids will help your child receive the bond and connection that they need to help them cope and be more forgiving and successful through out the day, especially when you are not able to spend the physical time with them and you need them to entertain themselves and play solo. The most important thing about making this time effective is that they play you do with your kids is child directed. This means you take a back seat and follow their lead. If your kid wants you to colour the sun blue, colour it blue. If they want you to fly the truck, fly the truck.
Extra tip! It is best if you engage in this play in the morning – this helps set your kid up for success through out the rest of the day.
Tip 2: Communicate with your kids, and make a plan!
When children feel prepared, they feel in control which enables them to be successful. Set your kid up for sccess by telling them the plan for the day and include sharing your activities – when you will have work calls, when your have to finish a report on your computer and when you need to get a work out in or call a friend. Consult yout kids and ask them what they want to do during these times to entertain themselves this helps make sure that everyone is in then know and has a plan of what to do.
Tip 3: Think Outside of the box on how you can connect with your kids
There are more ways to connect with our children then just being physically present. We can show our kids that we love them and that we are thinking about them by doing simple gesutres – like writing a joke on a post it note that we post on their door, or printing out a picture for them that they can colour or leave their cars in a heart shape on the floor in their playroom. Think outside of the box for different ways that you can show your kids you are thinking about them beyond being physically there.
Caron Irwin is the founder of Roo Parenting – a consulting service that provides support to parents as they navigate the ups and downs of raising their children. She is the mother of three children and a Certified Child Life Specialist with a background in Child Development and learning through play. For ten years, she has been supporting children and families through illness at Canada’s largest children’s hospital. She holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Studies from Ryerson University. Follow @rooparenting for daily parenting tips and strategies.