Parenting Program Co-ordinator Margo Sargent has provided us with some helpful advice around helping your kids, your family and yourself during the sometimes difficult winter season.
- Take care of you body, mind and spirit; nurture your relationships.
- Give yourself permission to be imperfect.
- Have well established routines that allow for getting out in the morning in good time and getting homework done; have set bedtimes that allow time for winding down and getting lots of sleep.
- Connect with other families with children of similar ages; prearrange activities with friends; consider attending drop-in play groups at Ontario Early Years Centres.
- Take time for yourself; if you’re parenting with a partner, spend time doing something fun that has nothing to do with your children.
- Plan ahead; put money away for Christmas and holidays; budget for extra costs; say no.
- Have a regular game night; walk; get out in the sun; visit the library; swim; eat healthily; practice yoga, meditation and relaxation techniques; practice self-care; limit screen time; listen to music; read; use a DVD exercise program.
- Set limits and keep activities manageable.
- If you know that winters can be difficult for you, call for counselling ahead of time to avoid waiting lists.