Mornings can be busy as there are many jobs that need doing at the start of
Once breakfast and our morning routine was finished (i.e. getting dressed,
brushing teeth, making beds), I would always give my younger children some
time in the play pen and my toddler some “room time”.
Basically this means giving your children a few special toys and books they
can sit and play with in a safe place. This was really important for me as I
had things I needed to get done, like take a shower, put the washing on, get
my husband and other children out the door.
I needed to know that while I was distracted, my little ones would be safe.
Knowing they were in the play pen or their room, gave me the freedom to do my
morning routine without worrying about what they were up to.
It also served a greater purpose in that they learnt how to play on their own
and be content for a time without me — a skill which I found invaluable
at other times of the day when I couldn’t give them my undivided
What started as a safety issue, soon became a valuable and fun part of our
Since pioneering developmental programmes with children, David and Charissa
Scotford have worked in private practice over the past 15 years. They teach
and produce parenting resources available at