In a time where the future is uncertain, many people have had unfamiliar roles thrust upon them, especially parents. So how can parents balance their time, making sure they remain a loving, nurturing parent while also becoming the educator? Nature and nurture are not mutually exclusive, and we must find our own balance to make sure we are living by our values. Here are a few small tips to help get you through each day while continuing to make sure your long-term goals are still progressing:
- Re-evaluate your time. What do you mean you cannot take the entire day to focus on toilet training because you have many other roles things you need to complete? Determine what is most important to you and your family now and in the future. Work from there to find ways to incorporate those tasks into your day to make it meaningful.
- Follow through. Yes, it is true that consistency and follow-through are extremely important in learning life skills. However, if a situation arises that you do not feel you will be able to follow through on with your child, do not make the request for your child to complete a given task. For example, if you wake up with a migraine but you want your child to clean the room, yet, you do not have the energy to monitor this task to completion, wait until the next day when you may be feeling better to present the task.
- Make smaller goals. We all have lofty goals and as we try to tackle them we might realize that we struggle to get through them, often falling behind and feeling hopeless. Make sure that what you are trying to accomplish is realistic. This should reduce the likelihood of burn out and inconsistent behavior. As these smaller goals become part of your everyday behavior, it should become easier to follow through with them.
- Give yourself a break. It is important to be open and honest with yourself and your support system about what you can offer. Allow yourself to practice self-care, whatever that means to you.
- Play. Not everything needs to feel like a contrived learning opportunity. Sometimes we simply need to connect with our children. Take at least 5 minutes per day to play with them, and I mean truly play. Follow their lead and play as they do rather than showing them how to play (e.g., “do this” or “roll the car”). It is okay if it is not “functional play”, the goal here is to show them that you are interested in them and their activities.
Do you have any tips that have helped you to find your balance? We would love to hear your feedback as we all seek out what works for us!