by Cynthia Klein, Certified Parent Educator
Planning ahead is key to having successful times and outings with children. Just “winging it” can lead to disaster. Here is a partial checklist of preparations and parenting knowledge which are important for creating a successful outing. The more “Yeses”, the brighter your rainbow will glow.
¨ Did you buy entrance tickets ahead of time?
¨ Have you determined the best time to go based on your children’s ages and needs for sleep and food?
¨ Are both you and your children rested?
¨ Would it be beneficial to take a “father’s helper” along with you?
¨ Have you allowed enough time to get ready so no one feels rushed or upset?
¨ Have you packed healthy snacks, drinks or lunch?
¨ Do you know fun traveling games that will build an atmosphere of fun and cooperation during the trip?
¨ Have you clearly and respectfully explained the day’s routine and stated realistic expectations for behavior?
¨ Do your children know how you will discipline, not punish, them if they are having a hard time controlling themselves and following the rules?
During the outing:
¨ Can you turn problem times into problem solving times?
¨ Are you able to listen to upset feelings without getting upset yourself?
¨ Can you be flexible when your plans don’t seem to be working out and make appropriate changes?
¨ Can you view upsets as a natural part of the day?
¨ Can you create laughter with your children?
¨ Can you “read” your children so you know when they need a break, food or possible outside unstructured play?
¨ Can you monitor your energy and patience levels and avert your potential “blow-ups”?
¨ Will you allow time and energy for a possible “melt down” and then focus on the good times?
Children need their dads and often dads have not received the training and practice to ensure a Rainbow Day. So, rather than hoping the day goes well, ensure it does with training. You can learn through books, webinars, attending talks and private coaching. I have worked with many dads who have made minor shifts and seen major positive shifts in their children. These changes lead to greater cooperation and everyone happier to be together.
Cynthia Klein has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She teaches adult how to increase cooperation and understanding between themselves and children of all ages up to young adults. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, classes and private parent coaching sessions. She is the Middle School Mom columnist for Parenting on the Peninsula For more information, go to Bridges 2 Understanding, bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, or 650. 341.0779