When we are away from our children and homes for a period during the day and then return, we engage in a process called re-entry. Whether we work outside or inside the home, the time spent apart from our children can be hard. Thus, re-entry can be hard for everyone, both children and parents included.
As such, it is important to help yourself and your children with the transition period. When you re-enter your home with your children after you have been apart for a period of time, being intentional about connection and time is going to help everyone transition smoother.
Instead of jumping right into the parenting role, reminding your kids of something they need to do that day, or even inquiring about their day, try the following to transition with purpose and intention: Create at least 10-15 minutes of connection time when you first re-enter your home with your children. It can look like the following (age-dependent):
• Get down on the floor and play with your children in their world.
• Sit at eye level with your kids without any distractions (no cell phones, mail, etc.)
• Invite your child to play (ask them what they would like to play)
• Join them in their room (ask permission) and just be with them – no agenda
• Have a dance party or cooking time with your children if they are interested
• Turn their music on and listen with them – being part of their world
Find a way to connect with your children during the first 15 minutes of re-entry that isn’t geared toward a certain task, but rather to connect. This time can help make the rest of the day or night smooth. You are spending time filling up your child’s cup with love through quality time shared. This can make such a huge difference in the life of a child.
For some, entering the home can be stressful after being away for a period of time. It can also be joyful and exciting. In order to create more joy, we must prepare ourselves for this process. Here are a few suggestions to prepare yourself for a re-entry that cultivates happiness and connection:
• Take a few deep breaths
• Set an intention for yourself for this time with your children
• Ask yourself, “what do I need to do to feel connected to my children?”
• Be gentle with yourself
• Have little expectation of what your child might do or how they might react
• Don’t focus us on what could go wrong; try to stay present in the moment
How will you create this space in your home to re-enter and build connections?