As usual, autumn brings all kinds of colds, viruses and other diseases that afflict adults and children alike. All parents are naturally worried when their child falls ill, but single parents may be even more so because they are often alone and forced to take measures on their own. I, for example, like to plan ahead. Of course, illnesses can’t be planned, but there are things you can do to prevent the development of diseases. Here is some practical advice concerning the children’s lifestyle and diet:
Make sure your child eats well. What does this mean? In our case, three meals and two snacks a day. As much fruit as possible. As few sweets as possible (since recently, my daughter’s started asking for chocolate instead of fruit, probably because I used to hide it from her and allow it only on special occasions). Soups, vegetables, meat, salads. Avoid the juices which are full of sugar and additives.
Allow your child to eat only in the dining room. They shouldn’t be allowed to leave the table before they clean the plate (or at least most of it).
Going to bed early is very important for your child’s health. Siesta is also a good idea. I can’t think of any justification for the parents who allow their children to go to bed late simply because it’s easier. It’s true that by adhering to this strict rule I have practically condemned myself to spending every evening at home, but it’s all to my daughter’s benefit. I’m positive that a good night’s sleep and a balanced diet greatly contribute to her overall good health.
Should you keep your child at home if he or she catches a cold? I have never done that. I take my daughter to the kindergarten regularly, as long as she doesn’t have a fever. This is supposed to strengthen her immunity system. Although I generally agree with that, as a single mother, I don’t think there are many other options left for me as taking time off work is usually not a good idea.
Don’t make your children wear too much clothes. Even though it’s cold outside, the rooms where they spend time in the kindergarten or at home are normally quite warm. A child dressed too warmly will sweat a lot and this could be an additional risk. In the winter, I insist on good quality clothing, a cap, a scarf and gloves. My daughter wears tights under her pants only when we go to the mountains, when it’s frosty and snowing.
I hope this advice has been useful. As a single parent, I often read about other parents’ experiences and this helps me organise our lives better.