For two weeks before Christmas, I looked after two school-aged kids, in addition to my baby. I found it very hard going. The amount of energy they needed just couldn’t be matched.
Having been on the go from 7-8 daily with at least one wake up with the baby in the night for two weeks, I am beyond exhausted.
I have formulated some tips for coping:
- The park – find a fenced park, take a coffee, sit and watch them play themselves out.
- If it’s too wet for the park, go to an indoor playground.
- Morning activity, afternoon DVD. And while they watch, you sit and watch or just relax with the heat pack.
- Have pre prepared activities. I found word finds and a science quiz at the Science Kids website.
- Have them start a journal of what they have been up to. One of the kids really took to that idea and spent hours slaving over his book!
- Utilise the points system. These kids earned points (and lost them) and the points equaled a minute on their tablet. There were some tears when one kid lost tablet time one afternoon and the other had his, but he learnt!
- Which leads to the last point, be firm and consistent. They remember, even if our fogged brain can’t!
Oh, and try to enjoy them and find their good points! If you’re only babysitting for a time, like me, know it will end soon. If they’re yours, know they’ll grow out of the difficult faze eventually.
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