T = ALTER the Timing of Your or Your Child’s Activities
Ask Yourself, “Do I need to be doing this now?”
The third most common strategy used by parents is to schedule or change the timing of household chores to match your child’s activities. Similar to organizing the location of activities, it can take some planning to schedule activities so that you can maximize your supervision. Once you are aware and able to do this, this strategy can be highly effective in developing a safe home. For example, encouraging your child to wait to do quiet time activities (e.g., colouring or play with toys) until you cook dinner. The important point is to take note of which activities you need to do that may lower your ability to monitor your child and to try and reschedule these activities to a safer time for your child. Planning chores that prevent monitoring during nap-time or at night.
- Going to the laundry room when your child is napping or he or she has gone to bed.
- Preparing dinner when your child is enjoying TV time (a low monitoring activity) or after your partner is home.
- Doing yard work when your child is able to be outside with you and can play safely.
- Plan to walk your dog at a time that your child can come with you or when he or she can play in the park.
- Doing tasks that require a lot of focus and attention such as reading an article, completing forms/paperwork, etc. when your child is able to play safely. These types of tasks can be highly distracting and can prevent you from watching your child closely.