For many parents, the typical week is often a blur of work, rushing their children to school and activities, hurried meals and late nights — a combination that leaves every member of the family cranky, exhausted and emotionally disconnected.
Dr. Travis Stork wants to assure the moms and dads out there that there’s a better way.
“Without question, you have to have a plan in place,” says Stork, an emergency room physician and one of the hosts of the popular talk show “The Doctors.”
Stork is teaming up with Kellogg’s to give families pointers on how to make their days go more smoothly. He shares some of his most important tips with Metro readers.
Plan ahead:There’s nothing worse than coming home after a long day and having no idea what to prepare for dinner. “Some parents will put together a meal sheet for the week ahead,” says Stork. “If nothing else, don’t let the next day get ahead of you.”
Part of the planning process, says Stork, is to block out time to do grocery shopping for the week and to create to-do lists of everything you need to get done.
Involve your kids:It’s a cliche, but Stork says breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. “I grew up eating cereal and milk every morning,” Stork recalls. “If you don’t have time in the morning, you can lay out the bowl and spoon the night before so that when you get to the kitchen everything is ready.”
Giving kids options when it comes to their breakfasts is empowering. “Give them a choice as to how they are going to dress it up,” he says. “Let them pick which fruits to put on their cereal.”
Define quality time: “It’seasy to lose track of how much time we spend on things,” he notes. “List out what your true priorities are.” And then make time for them by accounting for where your time goes: “For something like watching TV, you may be spending more time on that than you realize.”
Make time for yourself:“Planning for yourself is not selfish,” Stork reminds us. “As an ER doctor, I’ve seen that if you don’t plan for yourself, you could cut your life short.”
Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.