Beating the &...

Beating the "Time Crunch"

Between picking the kids up from school, checking your blackberry for that important email you are expecting and driving the kids to soccer practice it is no wonder parents are feeling the time crunch.

A study released this week by the Canadian Index of Wellbeing says “one in five Canadian adults report being caught in a time crunch.”

The time that used to be spent going for a leisurely walk has been replaced by going online or watching television.

“It seems everyone’s lives have gotten so busy. With all the new technology, parents aren’t working the simple 9-5 anymore. But that just means we have to be creative in finding new ways to manage our time,” says Lianne Castelino, co-founder of WhereParentsTalk.com

The report states the average amount of our waking lives devoted to leisure activities has dropped by 20 per cent between 1998 and 2005. The report recommends more family-friendly policies in the work place such as more vacation time and better hours.

“Parents need to remember, kids don’t have to be so over scheduled. They need time to just play and think creatively on their own. It may seem old-fashioned but it is what works,” says Andrea Howick, co-founder of WhereParentsTalk.com.

Check out our tips for beating the time crunch:

– Set aside family time daily. It can be anything from reading books with your children to taking a walk around the neighbourhood.

– Turn off all technology when you are spending family time with your children. Cellphones, blackberry and any other portable devices distract and detract.

– Let children help you in meal preparation – breakfast, lunch and dinner. They’ll welcome your company, learn something about making a meal and you’ll get a helping hand and extra time to spend with them.

– Try to prepare some of your meals in advance. For example, make a few meals ahead of time and freeze on the weekends, for the week ahead. This will free up more time come the end of your work day.

– Avoid over-scheduling your child. Sometimes scaling back on their activities will help them and you feel more relaxed. Your child can have just as much fun at the park as they would going from one scheduled activity to the next. (Maybe you can get some relaxing reading done in the mean time!)

– Try to work your kids into your weekly exercise routine. Go for a family walk after dinner, or even a bike ride (It won’t even feel like your exercising!)