Up until the age of three, learning is not a conscious activity. Between 3 and 6, when the conscient decisions, imagination and logical thinking start to develop, urges no longer guide a child’s behaviour. During their pre-school years, children learn through play. It is important that for children who attend many hours a day at nursery, time is dedicated for activities with the family so that they don’t associate home time with sleeping after the fun activity stops. They need family time to counterbalance the time spent at nursery.
Another aspect worth mentioning is the importance of good time management with the adults so that each parent, individually or together with other siblings spend time with the child. Establishing a routine, as children need routines, is a difficult especially for divorced/separated families. A well established programme allows both parents to spend quality time with the child, for example, the father takes the child to nursery, the mother brings the child back home, they play and eat together and one of the parents reads a bedtime story. Establishing such a routine is difficult, but not impossible for divorced couples. Ignoring the routine creates anxiety to a child and that is why when such disruptions are inevitable, they need to be carefully managed.
Given that play is an important part in a child’s development, the time spent with the family should include play time and this should be as realistic as possible: eg. cooking together, gardening together etc.