Parent Smarter, Not Harder: Develop an Escape Plan

Parent Smarter, Not Harder: Do You Have an Escape PlaN via Childhood 101

Have you developed an escape plan?

Now, I don’t mean a plan for you to disappear off the planet next time you are having a tough day, though I am pretty sure many of us feel like doing just that sometimes. What I mean is to take a moment to think about one safe place or activity you can bundle the kids up and take them to (or involve them in at home) next time it is really feeling like it’s all too much.

For example, our last home was near to a beach that had a great playground and cafe. When I really felt that need to escape I would grab my purse, pop Immy in the car and head to this beach. We would share a chocolate milkshake, she would have a climb and a swing, sometimes we would walk along the beach, and we would leave a short time later feeling much lighter and brighter. It never failed.

When you really are tired, or frustrated, or just over it, changing things up can be a real mood lifter and given that your mood directly impacts the mood of your children (and partner) and the general tone of your home and day, feeling more positive and relaxed can only be a good thing, right?

Now, heading to the beach won’t be for everyone and your escape plan will be uniquely yours but here are a few suggestions to get you thinking and planning;

  • Walk, ride, scooter to a local park or playground. Let the children run around and kick a ball or play on the equipment while you sit nearby
  • Visit a local indoor playground or go for a swim at a local swimming pool
  • Jump on the trampoline or pick up a hoola hoop, anything to get you moving and smiling, preferably in the fresh air
  • Take your next meal or snack outdoors and serve it picnic style
  • Pop a bowl of popcorn, put on a family movie and all cuddle on the couch together
  • Visit a friend or family member who understands and is happy to help
  • Get out some crayons, felt pens or watercolour paints and all sit down to create together
  • Pile into bed together and read a collection of your family’s favourite books (or some chapters or a new read-together title)

Now I must admit, since we moved to our new house I have really neglected to have a good escape plan in place, and my goodness on those tough days, don’t I know it! So I too am putting together a new plan, well two in fact – one that involves us just heading off to a local playground that we can walk, ride or scooter too and the other involving a short car ride, an ice cream and a walk along the beach. I’m smiling just thinking about it πŸ™‚

Do you have an escape plan?

This series of posts is not about having all of the answers, nope, because I certainly don’t have them! What it is about is sharing simple, effective parenting strategies and ideas that I have tried and found to work. Of course, each family is totally unique so feel free to take any of the suggestions presented and tweak them to suit yours. Click on an image below to see the other posts in this series;

Parent Smarter, Not Harder: A series at Childhood 101
Parent Smarter, Not Harder: The Cause to Pause
Parent Smarter, Not Harder: Being prepared
Parent Smarter, Not Harder: Tip #5: Encourage Children to use Their Words
Simple Parenting Tips: Radiate Calm


  1. I don’t think I ever really thought about this, but having a plan is a great idea for those days when I just seem to be yelling! In our case, I think a ride on the bikes, or a film and popcorn, or a trip to the soft play, or to the swimming pool would all work, depending on the situation. Sometimes all it needs is to calm down, count to ten and breathe – that might give one of the above plans time to pop into my head! Change it up is always good.

  2. Thanks for sharing this – it will be very helpful with two kids under six years of age…

  3. What a great idea. Thank you for sharing.

Comments are closed.