Make the Most of After-School Time With Your Kids
TAG: daycare provider Littleton CO | best daycare Littleton CO | childcare Littleton CO
“Even though my son is only in half-day daycare, childcare or preschool, I have already learned the power of the afternoon time I can have with him.”
That snippet of time between the end of the school day and the beginning of dinner or evening activities is a critical time for families who can spend time together. It is a daily opportunity for parents to reconnect and bond with their children, and a chance to set a positive tone for the remainder of the day.
But of course, thanks to chores, shopping and general afternoon fatigue, it can also be a time of serious stress and frustration.
If your afternoon bonding time is feeling a little stressed and light on connection, family engagement, and energy—consider incorporating these three best practices into your after routine.
1. Enjoy meaningful conversation.
To avoid the frustration of the dreaded “How was your day” and the inevitable monotone answer “Fine”, try asking more specific questions that show that you have a genuine interest in their day:
Did anything good or fun happen at school today?
Did anything make you laugh today?
What’s something kind you did at school?
Who did you play with at recess?
Anything happened that you didn’t enjoy today?
Did you create something today?
2. Refuel the right way.
Choose your snacks and lunch carefully as what you eat can affect your moods in the afternoon hours. The afternoon slump is real, and it doesn’t just affect grown-ups. Kids feel it too. Likewise, it can impact how our kids function later in the day, during extracurricular activities, and even bedtime.
So while it’s super fun to greet our kids after school with a plate of cookies (and grab a few for ourselves, too), make that kind of sugar rush the exception rather than the norm. On an everyday basis, strive to offer your kids a nutrient-rich after-school snack with a good mix of healthy carbs and protein, a fruit and a vegetable such as snap peas, small chunks of cauliflower or broccoli and cherry tomatoes—to give them energy and keep them fueled until dinnertime.
Some of our favorite combos include:
Low-sugar yogurt with fresh berries and whole grain cereal or granola
Banana or apple slices with natural peanut butter
Wedges of pita bread with hummus for dipping
String cheese with wholegrain crackers and grapes
3. Check your own attitude
For better or for worse, our children feed off of our attitudes and emotions and learn through examples we set every day. How we look, speak, and act towards our kids and to others around us, during the after-school time directly impacts how they then look, speak, and act towards us.
Little mirrors, our kids are -
So make it a habit to take some long, deep breaths before you pick your kids up from school or they come bounding off the school bus.
Check in with yourself and acknowledge any stress or anxiety or frustration from the day…and then let it go.
Then, upon reconnecting with your kids after the school day, your heart and mind will be clear, and you’ll be able to give them a genuine smile and show authentic excitement to see them.
What better way to start the after-school hours on a positive note?
@Pop-Ins Schoolhouse, we love cooking and preparing our meals from scratch, good organic, top quality ingredients, to help our kids grow and thrive.