The Expat Kids Club's

Tips For Maintaining Order with your Kids

How to Stick to the Plan

You're busy. Your kids are busy. When you have 4.5 minutes to bike to school and you're already 16.5 minutes late (and the shoes are still not on!); when you need to get from a meeting to home in time to let the babysitter go; when you're stuck in the waiting room at the GP and need to be at school-pickup, how can you maintain your rules, boundaries, and make sure that the kids listen, behave, and still feel loved?

1. Prepare: Write down the weekly schedule on Sunday evening, and see if there is flex-time in that schedule in case things do (and they will!) come up so that you have a little peace knowing there is some room to breath. If you end up having that extra time over on a particular day, enjoy!

2. Share Responsibilities: Your kids can be involved in the routines - give them age-appropriate chores (most 5 yr. olds can get dressed on their own; many 8 yr. olds can put their laundry in the wash bin, pack their own backpack etc.) , and encourage them to participate by rewarding them for their efforts. Many hands make light work.

3. Be flexible: What is the worst thing that will happen if you're late? Ask yourself, "Is this really a big deal? Does it put my child in danger?" Obviously being late for school each morning could have negative consequences on what information your child is missing in class, although most likely arriving late once in awhile will not equate with missed opportunities for university, work, or presidential candidacy.

4. De-compress: On those days when you are late, overwhelmed, & stressed make sure to take some time for yourself to re-establish balance. Getting enough rest and taking care of what is going into your body is critical (not only do you set an example for your kids, but also those fast-food meals and 4 cups of coffee to get through the day are really not good for you!). Maintaining time for romantic & social relationships, as well as proper exercise will really make a difference on your mood.

5. Learn how to say No!: Your kids will get over the disappointment that they can't always have a play date, eat ice cream, or go to the toy store to buy the latest gadget right away; your relatives will understand if you don't come to every single family-event; your friends will forgive you if you miss "girls night out" once in awhile. Also, for working parents, allow yourself a "mental health day" from work if you really need it, and stop feeling guilty for making yourself a priority!

Mindful Parenting Course

Helping Kids by Helping Parents

This has to be one of the most exciting things happening right now in NL, as far as I'm concerned. In my work as an advocate for children, it is so important that parents are involved in their children's lives effectively & appropriately so that the kids can develop effectively in their own, individual way.

So often parents with the best intentions, get off-track. Mindfulness International's Mindful Parenting course is a terrific way for parents to find their way back to the path that works best - for themselves and their kids! I highly recommend this 4-week course for any parent out there!

Mindfulness International's Mindful Parenting Course

Starting Nov 8th & 16th in Amstelveen.

See this website for more information.