Playing the Waiting Game
“Always be prepared” are definitely words to live by when you are a parent. It makes your life easier and less stressful. Even though all parents have to wait in lines or waiting rooms, it happens more often for parents of special needs children. The following are a few ideas that will help waiting times pass more quickly and make it, overall, a more pleasant experience.
1. Always bring a “ready bag”. Be ready for any and all requests or needs that your child may conjure up. Make sure to pack snacks, napkins, utensils if needed, and something to wash it down. Also throw in some of your child’s favorite toys like cars, a baby doll, or crayons and paper for easy doodling.
2. You can play games like “I spy” or “TicTacToe”.
3. Use available books to read aloud to your child.
4. Talk about today/tomorrow/yesterday, the weather, or places you are going after the appointment.
5. Do finger-play quiet songs like “Baby Bumble Bee”, “Itsy Bitsy Spider, or “Where is Thumbkin”.
6. If there are no children’s magazines, have your child make up stories about pictures in the family magazines or pictures that are hanging on the wall.
7. Use it as snuggle time with your child. You can relax and enjoy having your child close to you.
8. Join your child in some playtime with available waiting room toys.
9. Let your child help and give input into planning the grocery list or the schedule for the week. They will see you being organized and planning out events.
10. Talk about “favorites” like favorite food, color, book, toy, etc.
Remember that although waiting can be stressful at times, try to make the best of “any”time with your children!!