I’ve read a few articles lately stating that working parents need not feel guilty for spending so much time away from their children and as long as the quantity of time wasn’t nearly important as the quality.
Do you think that a working parent can provide as good an upbringing to a child as a household with a SAH(M/D)? The answer should be yes. The outcome of this study shouldn’t be a surprise to any parent; we all know deep down that quality of time trumps quantity of time every time.
5 tips for working parents (any parent really) to provide quality time
Be there for them when you can. If you’re a working parent, make sure that when you have an opportunity to spend time with your child, really be with them, even it’s only for a small time. Be completely accessible, let them download to you, ask them questions, let them ask you questions and be genuinely interested. A wise quote says “If you don’t show interest in the little things, they might not come to you about the big things”.
Consider situations from your child’s perspective. Remember how everything seemed really big when you were a kid? When you’re getting home from a long, tough day at work, imagine how long it has been from your child’s perspective! While it’s tempting to say “I’ve had a long day, I just need 5 minutes to recuperate”, it’s been a really, really long day for them and they’re craving some time with you.
You probably work enough, we probably all do. When you’re at home and your child asks for some of your time, resist the urge to say “I’m too busy” or “I’ll just finish this up” if you can. If you do this too much, they may end up resenting your work or resenting you. Worse still imagine if you did this so many times, your child started thinking work was more important to you than them!
When in doubt, choose the kids; there will be plenty of time for work later. Kids are in your care for a very short time. While 18+ years may sound like a lot, it will disappear very quickly. With my eldest daughter now approaching double figures, it’s like I blinked one day and she went from toilet training to a training bra. These days won’t last long and I urge you to take full advantage of them. For both your sake and your child’s.
Children want presence, not presents. This is a very famous and powerful statement. While your child would go ga-ga over a new toy, doll, video game or whatever if you bought it for them, it will be short-lived. They’ll appreciate and remember an experience shared with you for much longer (it’s been scientifically proven). So if you’re feeling guilty about not having spent enough time with your child recently, resist the urge to buy them something to make up for it and just spend some uninterrupted time with them.
Who am I to say these things, I’m a dad; a very proud dad of 9 years with two little girls and I care a lot about the quality of parenting I provide to them. I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to improve my parenting to give my girls the best possible parenting experience I can. This article was “built” from some articles I read recently that made a lot of sense and I decided to share (in my own words). I hope you got something out of it.