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We live in a time of nonstop schedules racing from here to there. If you work at home or outside the home this is compounded by finding a balance of home responsibilities and finding time for each individual child. If you have “an only child” at home it may be helping your child learn how to play independently, so that when you do have “ME” TIME it is truly significant.
What does ME TIME look like? One of our CMH parents schedules office time with each of her kids. This doesn’t happen every day because sports, lessons and other things do get in the way, however it does allow her to have one-on-one check-in time with each child. Once a week is a great place to start with a set time of 15-30 minutes. Using the oven timer can help keep ME TIME on track. (If you over extend the length of time, it will not be as special.)
Let your child choose the ME TIME activity. It can be just sitting and having a conversation, snuggling with a cup of tea/hot chocolate, reading a favorite book, drawing together or playing a game of their choice. ME TIME enables the parent the opportunity to know each child on a personal level and understand what is going on in his/her individual life.
Establishing a line of communication…
During ME TIME, talk to your child about how things are going at school with their friends, their wishes and dreams. Establishing a line of communication early on will help keep you keep in touch with your child’s social life as they age into middle school, high school, and beyond. These early conversations can prove helpful in keeping you as the parent in your child’s social life. This may sound outlandish, but as many of us already know, teenagers have the tendency to leave their parents out of their social loop; leaving parents guessing the “why’s and how’s” when their teens begin to show signs of changes in their emotions and daily actions.
Keep it new!
Always try to keep it fresh and exciting for your kids and you. Even if your child likes a repeat activity, add a new twist to it. Keep your time special, one that is interesting and not something that becomes old and repetitive. Mix up your activities as well. One week, go out for a treat, a bike ride or walk, the next time play a game, or cook together a special treat for the family.
ME TIME is something that you will treasure that benefits YOU and your child(ren). It gives you and your children the opportunity to identify with one another even though we all live busy lives! It can bring you closer together and open communication lines.