July 11, 2014
One of the constant challenges of parenting today is time management. Families have busy schedules, often juggling multiple jobs and endless activities, and can really struggle to spend quality time together.
How can we better support parents in their efforts to connect with their kids while still handling the stress and schedule of daily life? Here are 4 key issues we address with parents (and links to additional resources on our Parent Resource Center) that can help:
- It is possible to balance parenthood and work. It’s not always (never?) easy, but there are steps you can take that 1.) put parenting first, and 2.) tackle everything else based on that priority. Our Balancing Parenthood & Work page has a list of these steps along with encouragement for the overwhelmed parent.
- Develop your family’s routine. We can’t entirely avoid stress from time to time, and that’s why it is so important to develop family routines. Having a general schedule in place each day helps children feel safe and secure, and can be incredibly helpful in making sure families have quality time (dinner around the table, reading books at night, etc.) every day, even if it’s just 15 consistent minutes each day. The Importance of Routines should not be underestimated.
- Understand what family stress is, and what it can do. If a parent is feeling stressed, their children are most likely feeling the effects. Family Stress can wreak havoc on quality time together, making healthy communication and positive discipline — keys to connecting — next to impossible.
- Time together doesn’t have to be perfect. Family life is messy and hard and that’s okay. We work to help parents understand that just being there is the first, most important step. If a parent struggles with what to do in that time, we share The Power of Play — a great page with simple suggestions of activities, based on children’s ages and interests.
Since the launch of our Kids Need Connections campaign, we’ve talked a lot about connecting with kids to build their resiliency. And the first step always has to be to make the time to connect.
It’s about time.