Posted on Apr 16, 2012 @[email protected]

Managing parenthood and a career has always been a difficult task. Now that the economy is in a fragile state you may find that you’re having to work longer hours and have less flexibility. Job security is a thing of the past and you have to give everything you can to your job, but where does that leave your children?

In a recent article by New York Time’s columnist John J. Edwards III he discussed a recent article in Atlantic magazine called How to Land Your Kid in Therapy by Lori Gottlieb. Gottlieb raises the question of whether or not reduced time with your children can lead to spoiled kids. This hypothesis makes sense as often parents who feel as if they don’t dedicate enough time to their children feel guilty and thus overcompensate for their guilt by giving into their children’s demands. In an attempt to make their children happy many parents refuse to do anything that may anger their children even if that is what is best for the child. While this may seem to be a out of a desire to help your kids, it’s really just a selfish desire of the parent to gain their child’s affection. It can be really difficult to be firm but fair when it comes to disciplining your children when you have limited amounts of time, but it’s really important for their well-being. Here are some ways to make the most of your time with your children without spoiling them:
Establish routines. This simple practice can help every part of your day go smoothly especially mornings and evenings. If your children know exactly what to expect they’ll get in the habit of behaving correctly, whereas if you continually change your everyday practices they’re more likely to be resistant. You’ll also get things done a lot quicker.

Do your best to be involved with your children’s schooling. Go on school trips or volunteer in the classroom. If you can’t take time off of work then help to prepare crafts and engage in other planning oriented activities. If you’re really short on time donate snacks and supplies. Both your child and their educator will really appreciate it.

Build relationships with any caregivers. If your child is with a caregiver for part of the day establish open communication between you and that caregiver. That way the two of you can be on the same page and work together to tackle any issues. Moreover this will help you to present your child with a more cohesive lifestyle.

Make the most of your time at home. Everybody is tired after work so find quick and easy kid friendly recipes that you can prepare at least partially in advance. Keep the television off and make an effort to talk about your day. Factor in time for fun and snuggling.

Don’t let the feelings of guilt overwhelm you. Recognize that you are working to help provide your kids with a good future and a safe present. Remind yourself that your kids are happy and healthy and recognize that you are doing the best you can. If there is something you can change then do it, but don’t sweat the things that you can’t do anything about.

Work-life balance is always a very tricky thing to establish but it can be especially difficult for busy parents. That is no excuse to spoil your children, instead find ways to make your time at home run more smoothly.

Robert Boroff Executive Profile Managing Director Reaction Search International

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