Shaken Baby Syndrome

A large number of child deaths are reported in South Africa each year. A lot of deaths relate to neglect, abuse or murder. Despite this, there's a knowledge gap in relation to understanding the issue....

Amniotic fluid problems

The importance of amniotic fluid Amniotic fluid is essential for pregnancy and foetal development. Amniotic fluid is a watery substances residing inside a casing called the amniotic membrane or sac. ...

Choosing a pre-school

Becoming a parent is a momentous; life-changing event filled with hopes, expectations and naturally some fears. Parents often learn and grow alongside their children, as they face the challenges of pa...

Newborn reflexes

Although newborn babies are physically helpless and vulnerable at birth, they have a number of amazing innate abilities or reflexes. Reflexes are involuntary movements or actions, designed to protect ...

Mastitis

Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can lead to infection. The word “mastitis” is derived from the Greek word “mastos” meaning “breasts”, while the suffix “-itis” denotes “inflammation”. Ma...

Pelvic floor exercises

Although your new baby will probably bring you immense emotional satisfaction, physically you may feel uncomfortable and strange in your own skin. After 9 months of pregnancy and hormonal changes, you...

Colic

Babies cry because they need to communicate something and most parents, especially new moms, find it distressing to see or hear an unhappy baby. In time, you will learn to recognize the various causes...

Antenatal Classes

Antenatal classes are informative sessions provided to prepare expecting parents for the birth of their child and the early days of being a parent.Most antenatal classes are run by Midwives and occasi...

Strap-in-the-Future

The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched on the 11 May 2011. It is a global declaration of war against road crashes and fatalities. According to Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, MP Minister of ...

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52

Practical advice for weekend parents

single_dadSituations occur in life that possibly result in you only seeing your children on weekends. You may be the non-custodial parent following a divorce, or you may be a single parent that works away from home during the week.

These short intense bursts of parenting can be quite stressful for all involved. The following advice and guidelines can hopefully make the time spent together as special as everyday.

The time that is spent together should be meaningful, resulting in a strong bond between parent and child. Make the most of the limited time you have with your child. Ensure that work and social activities will not intrude or detract from you spending quality time with your child. Get those tasks in which the children cannot be involved done before your time together.

Prepare the home environment. It needn't be a replication of their primary home, but it should be a welcoming space. Have spare clothes, favourite bedding, toys etc at hand. Make the home a safe environment too.

Discuss with the primary care giver any special needs the child may have. Maybe the baby is teething, had a change in sleeping patterns, been introduced to some new foods, has had growth spurts or behavioural changes. Knowing how these issues have been dealt with during the week will help you with the weekend. Only as children get older will they be able to understand the differences in parenting approaches. Whilst small they still need consistency.

If there are health issues and medication is required, ensure that you know the correct dosage times and quantities. Have the basic medications in your home. These should be the same as in the primary home because you will know that the child has had it before with no side effects. Have contact details for your child's doctor, clinic and pharmacy available.

Babies and toddlers thrive on routine. In the initial days of being the weekend parent you may find you need to follow/ stick to your child's weekday routine. As time passes your own enhancements to the routine will occur naturally but the basic structure of meal times, nap times and bed times should remain the same.

From the age of about three, children have the ability to understand the differences in parenting approaches and discipline rules. They still need consistency, predictability and structure. Understand that difficult behaviour like tantrums, acting out or nightmares could be age appropriate and not necessarily a problem between parent and child.

Weekend activities are not all about doing it all and being busy, busy, busy with one treat after another. Children need to be involved in regular weekend activities, like doing the groceries.

Age appropriate rituals can also be developed, such as reading a favourite book at bedtime, or choosing a family movie for Saturday night.

Provide the opportunities to share, laugh and remain close, as this will strengthen the bond between you and your children.