Watch out everyone, the Christmas holidays are hurtling towards us!
For many working parents this means extra time at home with our kids, away from the demands of busy jobs and the constant juggle of exhausting daily life.
But if you’re feeling tired and ready for a break, how can you make the time you share with your kids at home exciting and enjoyable for everyone?
Mothercraft nurse Chris Minogue says there’s only one golden rule: see the time as a chance for genuine reconnection.
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Younger kids just need you. And lots of you!
“For children who are two and under and napping in the day, the best thing to do is just be at home and go slow,” says Chris.
“Just be there for them. Maybe set up some water play or take a walk around the neighbourhood picking up stones or leaves and playing at the park.”
The focus is on simple, home-orientated tasks that mean you spend quality time together.
Older kids also need you (and some adventure on the side)
For the older kids who don’t day sleep anymore, striking a balance between adventure and home-based play and nurture.
“Again, it’s important to take things much more slowly and use the time to talk and listen to your kids,” says Chris.
“Regroup as a family and reconnect with them as children. It can be so easy to just rush through life when your kids are in daycare and everyone is so busy.”
You can also make some time for adventure. Chris recommends taking the train or ferry to a special destination, or just make the ride part of the adventure.
“You could buy an Opal card and get your children to choose the destination. Or come up with a bunch of clues that leads them there,” says Chris. “Reconnect with them as children and tap into all that creativity.”
The very best thing about Christmas time with little kids is the sheer amount of pleasure and joy they take in being at home and in your company.
And as we all know, that won’t last forever!