It can be difficult to find the right balance of how involved to be in your child’s life. Too little and your child may feel neglected or that they don’t matter, too much and they may feel smothered or that you lack confidence in them. Here are five simple tips to help you find the right balance.
Make Time For your Child
It’s easy to get caught up in our busy lives and miss out on spending quality time with our children. Remember doing things with your children doesn’t necessarily count as quality time if you pay more attention to your phone and emails. Sad as it may be, you may find that the only way to spend enough quality time together is to schedule it. Set aside a specific time once a week to spend with each child, away from the TV, phones and computers.
Always make the effort to really listen to your children. Listening properly will encourage them to talk about things that bother them. Teenagers especially, will keep things to themselves if they feel you don’t listen. Also, children don’t always say exactly what they are feeling and the better you are at listening and paying attention, the better you’ll be at picking up on what they really mean. And, having a set time of the week for sharing gives them reassurance that they can talk to you and you will listen.
Be Involved in School
School takes up a great part of your child’s life so be involved. Get to know your child’s teachers – yes, that means going to those parent-teacher meetings. Take an interest in school projects, provide assistance and ideas, but don’t do their projects for them. Keep up to date with what’s going on at the school and show your support. Supporting school activities helps your child feel that you’re supporting them.
Remember the Important Things
Always, always remember the important things – birthdays, school activities, special occasions. Childrens toy supplier ‘direct appliance rentals’ state, “be there and be a part of the occasion. Yes, later in life these may not be the things your child will remember most about their childhood – they might be the times you baked cookies together on a Sunday afternoon or went on a fishing trip together – but they are the moments they will remember if you’re not there. So be there”.
Be Consistent About Discipline
Discipline might seem out of place in advice about being more involved in your children’s lives. But, providing discipline and being consistent about discipline actually shows your children that you care about what they do. Giving children too much freedom or not setting rules can send the message that you’re not interested in what they do, that you don’t care and lead to attention-seeking behaviour. Setting boundaries, having clear rules and keeping discipline within reasonable limits is healthy for a loving relationship with your children.
Like most things in life, it’s quality not quantity that counts. Stop and really listen, ask about their school day, celebrate special occasions, be clear about rules and behaviour and you’re on the way to being a more-involved parent.