Working parents need to balance jobs, children
An increasing number of parents are faced with the need to balance their work life and their family life. Being away from your children can be both stressful and sad. But for most, not working is not an option.
So here, from the pediatric experts at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, are some ideas for the parent who works.
Spend "good" time with your children.
Hug or cuddle your children the first five minutes you get home. Then give them something to do so you can relax and get settled.
Talk, read books, get them to draw and/or tell stories instead of putting them in front of the television.
Let your children help around the house with cooking, shopping and cleaning.
Use the same rules and discipline each day.
Keep the kids healthy. Keep immunizations up-to-date and have regular check-ups. Fix well-balanced meals and eat at regular times. Have regular bedtimes and routines. Help your children get regular exercise and physical activity each day. Child proof your home.
Keep yourself healthy.
Choose a good baby-sitter, day-care center or nursery school. . Kids need to feel they are in a safe, familiar place.
Work things out with your boss ahead of time. What is the policy if your child is sick and you need time off.? Can you adjust your hours to fit your child's schedule?
Have a back-up plan if the children are sick. Do you have a neighbor, relative or friend who can watch a sick child? Do you have access to an "ill-child" care center?
Be wise with your time - what's really important? Not all jobs need to be done right now. Time with children is important, too. Make simple meals, cook ahead and freeze meals.
When children must be left alone
They should be at least 10 years old and not alone for more than two hours.
Sick children should never be left alone.
Have clear rules about what they may and may not do.
They should know what to do in an emergency.