Classroom Friends—

I want to introduce to you Daniel Sherwin, a single dad with a heart to encourage and support other single dads. His website is dadsolo.com where he provides regular posts to resource and encourage single dads. Last Sunday, I had the privilege to lead a parent/child commitment time in our worship service. We played a short video of a family and child being introduced, and a life verse the parents have chosen for the child. One family featured was a single mom who had adopted a beautiful little girl.  It warmed our hearts as she shared how God had made them a family.  

I also think of my own son who is a single dad and how precious is the time he has with with his daughter. If you are a single dad or know a single dad, visit Daniel’s website for positive and encouraging information.  Daniel supplied an article today that you can enjoy. I know it is Valentine’s Day, but I thought this heart connection might serve many people better than another Valentine Craft (which I know you already have planned for tonight).

Your Friend,
Mr. Mark

 

 

There are many challenges that come with being a single parent, and time management is certainly one of them. However, establishing routines will go a long way in keeping a calm household even when you’re living on a tight schedule. Here are a few things you can incorporate into your daily routine in order to accomplish more and spend quality time with your kiddos.

The AM

Getting everyone up and ready for the day can be quite the task. However, a lot of the groundwork can be done the night before to ensure an easier morning routine.

  • Make sure your kids are going to bed at a decent time so they don’t fight you as much when the alarm goes off.
  • Set out their clothes and everything they need for the next day of school so there isn’t a mad dash to find things in the morning.
  • Keep easy-to-make breakfast options in the house so they can feed themselves.
  • Set your alarm to go off way before they have to get up, so that you are able to get alone time and are fully awake and ready to help instead of rushing around with them.
  • If you have little ones, a dry erase checklist could be helpful so that they remember to brush their teeth, eat breakfast and grab all of their essentials. It’s a fun way to get them involved and ready for school all on their own.

The PM

From homework and school activities, to dinner and getting ready for bedtime, the hours after school can quickly get away from you. According to Care.com, “It might take a new routine, hiring help — or a little of both — to keep your after-school activities in balance.”

  • If you can’t be there when the last bell rings at school, set up a carpool where you and other parents take turns picking up the kids and lugging them to their next activity or hire a sitter who can safely transport them.
  • The Spruce recommends that if you won’t be home with them after school, you should set clear boundaries for what they can and cannot do. For example, have them check in with you so you know they are safe, and only provide healthy snack options so they don’t spoil their dinner. They should also save any TV or computer time for when you are there to monitor it.
  • Carve out some time before dinner for them to complete any homework they may have so you can check it and go over it with them afterwards.
  • You’ll also want to give them some time to unwind and relax with you. This could mean setting up family game or movie nights where you all huddle together and have fun.

Weekend Tips

While you don’t want to stray too much from your regular routine on the weekends, it is a good time to get a little extra preparation done. Consider meal prepping so you have healthy and ready to go dinners and lunches for the week to enjoy together. Make a chore chart to get the kids involved and help you stay on top of the cleaning. Motivate them with rewards like an allowance or fun activity as this will give them a sense of accomplishment. Keep the tasks age appropriate and be willing to let it go if the job is not done perfectly. You should also come up with fun activities and traditions like going to your local Saturday farmer’s market or park.

Lastly, consider getting a fridge calendar or planner to stay organized and color code it to each person in the house. This way you know where everyone needs to be and when. Also, think about setting alarms to remind you of these appointments and tasks. 

Writer: Daniel Sherwin

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