|Brady showing my mom his favorite tank game on the computer.|
For one, the high-energy, sometimes chaotic and less rigid structure of a day care or camp can be difficult for them to navigate.
For another, it's nice for everyone to have a break from lots of rules and the threat of a "phone call" about a "problem." Ugh.
For us, the idea of alternate care came out of necessity. Last summer, before we had kind of gotten things on an even keel, we learned the board of our local after-school care had decided Brady would not be allowed to attend in the summer.
I cried my eyes out over that one. But once I stopped crying, something occurred to me. This might be better. Better for us. Better for him.
It made us be creative, sure, but what we ended up with was awesome! He spends one day a week with his grandmother (my mom), two days a week with our pastor's wonderfully responsible teenage daughter and two days a week at the office with us. He occasionally spends a little time with my husband's mother and a few days in the summer he comes to car auctions with us.
This alternative means he gets one-on-one attention, teaching from a variety of people, a more laid-back summer, help with subjects he needs help in and an education in what we do for a living. Plus I get lots more time with him than I would otherwise.
It is a win-win.
I'm also considering changing up his after-school care during the upcoming school year. Perhaps some babysitter and some day care, or some babysitter and some step-grandma. I don't know. But it's nice to have options.
Here are some alternate choices for care you might consider, if not all day every day, at least part of time, whenever they can pick your kiddo up and take them home:
- Family member - grandma, grandpa, older sibling, aunt, uncle, cousins, niece, nephew.
- Church members - teenagers looking for summer work, a stay at home mom looking for a side gig (I did that one summer when I stayed home) and extra income. Check with your pastor.
- Neighbors - either teenagers or again, stay at home moms.
- Family friends or their kids, same thing, teenager or mom looking for side work.
- An alternate schedule at work that minimizes their structured day-care time.
- Bringing them to work with you part of time if your job is flexible.
- Working from home part of the time.
- A more active camp with a theme like zoo or space.