Getting Together at the End of the Day
You're tired, you're hungry and you have a list of things to accomplish
when you get home from work. First on your list is picking up the
kids! At the end of a long day, both you and the kids may be short
on energy and patience when you reconnect. Yet all of you really
want that warmth that comes from feeling loved.
Try to put away the problems of the day and what's left to
accomplish for a little while. You and your children need each
other after being apart all day.
Be on time. Children need to feel confident that you will come
back. Even when they can't tell time, they recognize "My Dad
picks me up after Jimmy leaves!"
Follow a routine. Keeping things the same helps children know
what to expect. It might be playing peek-a-boo with your child's
coat before you put it on to go or giving out crackers when
Expect some chaos. Some children will rush into your arms and
jabber all the way home. Other children may want some space
to "shift gears" and ignore you. Figure out what works with
Expect some sibling rivalry if you have more than one child.
Everyone may want attention right now!
Give everyone a chance to breathe! Some people adjust to changes
faster than others do. A child may need some time to make the
transition from day care to home, just as you may need time
to switch between work and home.
Develop your own ritual for the drive and your arrival home.
Here are a few ideas to start you thinking:
- Something as simple as a "How was your day?"
- Make up a knock-knock joke each day. It could even be the same
joke day after day!
- Play a guessing game such as "I see something and it's blue."
Allow children to ask questions and provide hints. It helps to
select things inside your vehicle so you aren't a mile down the
road before anyone guesses.
- Make up a silly rhyme with actions such as "Jack be noodle,
Jack be stiff, Jack come over and hug me quick."
- Try the game "What did you bring home today?" You can start
by listing a nose, an ear, and a shoulder while you touch each
Special "I love you" rituals repeated each day will help you and
your children feel connected. Taking a few minutes to create a feeling
of togetherness can pay big dividends. You not only get the warm
feelings, but often get more energy and cooperation to take on some
of the other items on your "to do" list.
Kids & Food | Help
Your Child Succeed | Your Child's Health
| Challenges of Parenting | Learning
to Get Along | Playtime Is Fun Time
| The Day Care Routine