Balancing Work and Family

Posted on September 11, 2011

Do you ever stop to think about how your attitude affects your children?  Do you take your frustrations from a busy day or a problem at work out on your children?  How often do you tell your child “no” when your child asks you to play because you think you’re too busy?  Are you more worried about how you look to other people than how you look to your children?

In today’s incredibly busy society where work ethic and financial stability are valued it’s hard to take time for yourself and relax.  It’s also hard to make sure you are communicating with your children in a healthy, productive manner that will encourage their growth and help them develop positive relationships with you and others.

My experience as a marriage and family therapist, a summer nanny, and a child growing up in an imperfect family taught me that parents don’t always know how to interact with their children.  I also learned that the stressors of a hectic work schedule largely contribute to increased conflict in families.  Below you will find a list of suggestions that will help you manage your own life and parenting tips on connecting with your kids in positive ways. Whether you are a single parent, a full-time or a part-time working parent it’s hard to leave work at work.  Remember, slowing down and giving them more of yourself in their early years will save you numerous headaches as they grow older.

 

  1. Be cautious of how important you make your job.  I understand that you depend on your work for financial stability.  However, your work won’t take care of you when you’re old and need assistance.

 

  1. Take a good look at your priorities.  You may say that your children are more important than your job, but is that reality?  How much time do you spend playing with your children and how much time do you spend finishing work from home?

 

  1. If you’ve had an incredibly busy or stressful day, take 30 minutes to yourself to unwind when you get home.  Tell your children that you would love to play with them, but that you need time to yourself for 30 minutes.  This will help you relax and clear your mind, and it will help teach your children the importance of self-care.  It also gives your children a specific amount of time they will need to wait for you.

 

  1. Make sure you have completed all your phone calls and work responsibilities for the day before you pull into the driveway.  Finishing work as you walk through the door only sets you up for stress and irritability.  Set a clear boundary for your work and home lives.  Don’t mix the two.

 

  1. Regardless of how stressed you are, support and encourage your children.  This can be difficult, but be excited when they are excited.  Show them they have the potential to achieve their goals by celebrating with them when they accomplish a goal.  You have great influence on their self-esteem so give them all you can by showing them how proud you are, even if it seems trivial to you.

 

  1. No parent is perfect, so remember to apologize to your children when you have made a mistake.  Contrary to popular belief, showing your kids that you aren’t perfect isn’t a sign of weakness.  It’s teaching them a powerful lesson about forgiveness and honesty.  The words “I’m sorry” show your kids it’s okay to make mistakes and encourages them to take responsibility for their actions.

Your relationship with your kids is incredibly important.  I encourage you to take inventory of your life and rearrange your priorities if you notice your children are not getting enough positive attention.  Try some of the suggestions above and see what works best.  With a little effort, you can balance your work and your children with ease.

 

Kristie L. Watts, LMFTA

 

Kristie Watts is a Marriage and Family Therapy Resident at Groff and Associates Counseling.  Her passions are grief and loss, parent/child relationships, and pregnancy related struggles.  If you are interested in seeing a counselor and think that Kristie may be a good fit, please contact her at kristie@groffandassociates.com.

 

 

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==