Meenal Arora shares some tips for working parents on how they could manage work and their children together. Effective parenting requires a lot of sacrifice, dedication and time. However, for working parents, time is always short. Since working parents spend a major chunk of their day away from their children, raising happy, healthy and well-adjusted children might seem like a major challenge. However, with dual-income households on the rise in India, numerous parents are proving that it is not impossible to balance work and family, and that kids of working parents are able to thrive as well. If yours is a family where both parents work, here are some tips that will help you strike that balance and lead a blissful family life as well:
Communicate with your children
Since working parents spend little time with their kids, it is important to set aside time and communicate with them every day. Parents need to speak to their children about their feelings to ensure they are not feeling neglected or lonely without them. Furthermore, it is important for parents to speak to children about how their studies, friends and activities they did throughout the day. Communicating regularly is the best way to connect with children even if you don’t spend a lot of time with them.
Don’t bring work home
It is not conducive for parents to complete work tasks at home as it might make children feel neglected and resentful. The best approach to avoiding this situation is to complete work at the office and switch off your work-mode before entering your home. Make sure that your focus is on spending maximum quality time with your children. Eating dinner together, reading and then tucking them into bed is a great way to end the day.
Look for flexible workplaces
Many workplaces offer flexible working hours and work from home options. Such jobs will allow you to spend some time with your children in case the need arises. Doctor’s visit, school functions and sick days can all be taken care of without the slightest of guilt if the workplace understands that parents sometimes require certain concessions.
Seek help and support
It is important for parents to discern who will take care of their child while they are away. It is best to leave the child with grandparents or a relative whom you trust to take good care and focus on the child’s needs. For younger kids or toddlers, you can also look for a daycare center where children can be looked after by professionals. Here, children can also spend their day in a productive manner while learning new things. For older, school-going kids, you can opt for schools that offer full-day programs. Such schools facilitate conducive after-school curriculums focussing on co-curricular activities and homework. Parents can conveniently pick up children from school after work and head home for quality time.
Look on the bright side
As working parents, you will have more disposable income at hand. You will be able to create additional opportunities for your children such as lavish summer trips, professional activity classes and better schools. As children of working parents spend a lot of time in different social settings such as daycare or co-curricular classes, research shows that they grow up to be more confident individuals with a high degree of emotional and social intelligence. Looking at these positive aspects of being working parents will help you feel great about your family-set up. Again, it is also a good idea to communicate about these upsides so that children understand it too.
Children are flexible individuals and can adjust well in any set-up. All they require is a little time and unconditional love. Whether it is after work or over the weekends, allot some time to do things that your children love. Play games, read stories or go out together to let them know that mother and father will always prioritise family time over work.
(The writer is the Founding Director, Shemford Futuristic Schools.)
Writer: Meenal Arora
Courtesy: The Pioneer