A day at preschool is exciting for children because each moment offers new opportunities to learn about the world while socializing with friends. While this is great for your child's development, it is common for parents to discover that their usually easygoing child sometimes begins to act out in the evenings. This is normally just a temporary issue as preschoolers transition to longer days spent in more than just their home environment. When you find yourself dreading the evening chaos, use these tips to help your child adjust.
Collect Yourself Before Pick Up
After work, it is common for parents to be stressed themselves. You may also have a running list of phone calls, errands and chores at home to accomplish. For this reason, it is helpful to take a few minutes to decompress before you head to your child's daycare center. Make that phone call that's weighing on your mind, or just spend a few minutes deep breathing. Since your child relies upon cues from you regarding how to behave, arriving in a calmer state will instantly impact the tone of the end of your day.
Streamline Your Evening
Working parents are known for doing it all, but that doesn't mean everything has to be done to perfection. On nights that you know are already off on a stressful foot, consider simplifying your meal preparation or skipping a chore that can wait until the morning. As long as your kids eat healthy most of the time, a pizza night or take-out Chinese food is perfectly fine if it gives you more time to bond with your child in the evening.
Plan a Calming Activity
A child who is whining in the evening may just be trying to get your attention. For this reason, it is helpful to give them an activity that they can do by your side. For example, you could let them color at the dining room table while you chop vegetables for dinner. Or they could help you sort socks while you fold laundry. Finding ways to include your child in your evening routine will let you get things done while also having a little fun.
Children love preschool, but parents often express concern when their child exhibits challenging behavior at the end of the day. While everybody has an occasional cranky evening, you can head off most nighttime battles by letting go of the stress and focusing on your child. By using these strategies, you will be on your way to looking forward to spending the evening hours bonding with your child.