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Juggling Priorities and Effective Parenting

on 12/09/2013

Parents are constantly in a tug-of-war battle of balancing work life and family. Sometimes, we put too much premium on being the best parent around and in the process, may unknowingly burn ourselves out in tough situations.

There are enough worries that parents carry without needing the guilt of not being good parents hanging over their shoulders like a dead goose. Many parents, when asked, wish that they can split themselves into many persons just so they get to do all the things they want and be at all places they need to.

Since this is obviously impossible, what’s a parent to do?

When given careful thought and constant reminders, juggling priorities and parenting effectively can be achieved simultaneously.

Here’s how you can do it.


Juggling Priorities - Stop the Guilt

Many parents dread leaving their child with someone else.

The need to make a living pulls on one side while the desire to see the child grows tugs on the other. Unless there is a definite alternative option, many parents need to work in order to support the family and provide the child’s every need.

Having this guilt riding on your shoulders can weigh you down like an anchor. It can be counterproductive when you are at your workplace and it can unintentionally turn you into a bitter parent.

The guilt of not being able to spend as much time as you would’ve liked with your child can subconsciously cause you to be demanding in his engagement when you do have the time for him. The need to make up for the time lost can force you to want to be the perfect parent.

Understanding that you are working because you have your child’s best interest in mind and accepting there are times where you can’t be there for him will make you feel slightly better about yourself.


Effective Parenting - Allow Flexibility and Willingness to Change Parenting Style

When you want to make up for the time you lost in being with your child, keep in mind that your child needs to engage in you as much as you need in him.

Since a child grows very fast, there will be certain things that he does this week that he didn’t last week. Accepting this changes as part of his growth and development allows you to be flexible in your parenting style.

You may already have an idea of how you want to parent your child but sometimes what you plan may seem a little hard to do or may not even happen. Tailoring your parenting style to your child’s need and development can help you in parenting effectively.

Trying out as many different parenting tips as possible to find the ones that suit you best is also another great method to practice flexibility in parenting.


Juggling Priorities - Come Up with Family Activites

Find the time to plan family activities that can bring the family together. Look for activities that can engage every member of the family without having to spend a bomb on it.

Fun is different for every family. Some family’s idea of fun is a round of paintball war while some other family’s idea of fun is a game of charade after Saturday dinner at home.

List down several age-appropriate activities you can have with the family. Either a one-off family trip to the theme park or a weekly Twister game, creating special family activities can help you to balance work life and family better.


Effective Parenting - Make Time for Your Kids

Different from family activities, making time for your kids is more personal and intimate. You can practically find the chance to make time for your kids in almost every way.

Instead of waking up just at the right time that is enough for you to get ready and prepare the kids to their nursery, try to wake up earlier so you can prepare breakfast and wake them up a little earlier so the whole family can sit together for breakfast.

Instead of pushing their bedtime right before they are sleepy, get them in bed earlier and spend a few minutes reading or just talking to them before saying good night.

It may seem a little hard to do when you want to change your schedule, but knowing that your kids remember the little things you do for them is priceless.


Juggling Priorities - Have Some Me Time

Let’s face it. We all know how hard it is to be a parent.

We are so busy taking care of everyone else that sometimes we feel no one is taking care of us. There will be times when the work stress and family obligations feel just a little too much to handle.

Amidst the back-to-back deadlines and reports to be typed out and the kids’ Sports Day or the piano recital, parents need to step back and get a perspective of the whole thing so that everything will fall into place.

Scheduling some Me Time, either for yourself or with your partner, is an important way to rejuvenate and recharge. Only when you have high confidence and self-esteem in what you’re doing, you are able to juggle things better and achieve more of the things you want.


Effective Parenting - Nurture Self Esteem

Kids love to please their parents. They are eager beavers when it comes to helping out mommy and daddy with “grown-up” stuff.

Always make it a point to praise something about them at least once a day. Your confidence in their capability can boost their self-esteem and make them more loving and attentive to what you’re saying.

Praise even the little things like putting their dirty laundry in the hamper or drawing a colorful picture. Catch all the good things they do and you will see that they will do more of the things you want them to without you asking them.

 

No one is saying being able to juggle priorities and parent effectively is an easy task to do. There will be times you might feel overwhelmed with the pressure of it all.

Always take a step back to collect yourself, go through your list, check yourself and start again. It does seem like a lot of work but only you will know the satisfaction when you are able to do it.

Just remember that it is not about being the perfect parents for your kids but it’s about being the right parents your kids need.