I wait for her on the side of the road with her two younger sisters in tow. We wave as the bus trundles down the street towards us, she hops down its steps and I give her a big hug asking, “How was your day at school? Did you have fun? It’s so good to see you! Who did you play with today?” She holds my hand as we walk back home and once we’re through the door and she’s dumped her backpack in the entryway the first thing she says is, “Can I watch a movie? And have something to eat?” and I am not sure what to do next.
She is in kindergarten all day, every day and she’s tired when she gets home. She’s been ‘on’ all day long and is craving some peace and quiet, a chance to unwind and relax. But I’m not sure how best to help her achieve that. I don’t want her to become a couch potato who stuffs her face with corn chips and watches three hours of Disney before dinner each night. I want to really connect with her when she comes home from being gone all day, but I want her to be able to have some time to herself, too, if that’s what she needs.
So I’m looking for some advice: how you help your kids unwind? Do you permit them a bit of TV or screen time when they come home from school or do you think that’s a poor idea? The way I see it is that so long as it’s in small amounts and is balanced by other activities (she likes colouring and play-doh and running in the orchard, too) it’s OK. But I don’t want to set any unhealthy habits, either and have them snowball into something that really negatively affects her.
(I do make sure the snacks are healthy options, just so you know. Lots of fruit and whole grains. Nothing bad like cheezies or, heaven forbid…CHEERIOS.)
Anyways, please fill me in on how you help your kids have healthy down time. I need some ideas!