Fast Company #1 : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Fast Track Article #1 Kevin Erickson

What parents seem to be in denial about is the effect that their pressured lives have on their Kids.

This article was about the amount of time parents are spending with their children. Both parents are working eight hour days and not spending as much time with their children as they should. When parents are asked how much time they are spending with their children they will exaggerate the amount ; in reality they are spending much less time with their children than stated. When they do spend time with their children, they are stressed out with something that happened at work so the time is far from being considered quality time. Many times parents find themselves bringing their work home in more than one way. The children are the ones being hurt. I know from personal experience that when I come home from work I find myself without the energy demanded by my two year old. When I have a bad day at work, it is hard to put everything behind me and just focus on my children with the love, patience and understanding they are searching for. If both parents are working I could see how a child could be affected. Children whose parents spend less time with them will be more likely to have troubles in getting along with others and feel sad, depressed, nervous, high strung, inferior and worthless. So, not only do kids need more time with their parents, they need more focused time with them. Tucking your kids in at nighttime and spending five minutes in the car with them on the way to school in the morning is not enough. As an educator I see the effect parents have on their kids when both parents are working. Sometimes when I send letters home the older brother or sister signs the notes instead of the parents. Mom and Dad are both working and the older siblings are raising the younger children. I also see a lot of grandparents raising children. A seventy year old person usually does not have enough energy to keep up with young school age children; sometimes I do not have enough energy. I think that parents should take the time to revaluate their wants and needs and set priorities. Do both parents have to work? Is it harder to stay home with the children than it is to spend a day at work? I think that family time needs to be a priority and in todays society I dont think this happens often enough. It all boils down to how families are living. Many parents are being consumed by their careers, jobs, and the pursuit of wealth. For some, working to make a living has been distorted into making a financial killing. As a result families are dying.

Parents need to try and find the time to give their children what they need, attention, love and time; not material things. A child might spell love as t-i-m-e. Children really dont need too many things. However, I believe that they do need to have large amounts of time with their parents. I have read articles written by family experts suggesting that children can get by with only a limited amount of quality time. My opinion is this is a formula for parental failure. Children want and need large quantities of quality time with their parents. The really important things in life are things that have a lasting impact. Remember that time can not be recovered, once it is gone, it is gone forever. Our society says, time is money. For families, time is essential for a strong family life. We must remember that the family is the basic cell of society. Parents need to find time for their families by taking a day off from work, having a family meal at least once a day, and make at least one day a week a family day. Parents can enhance their relationships with their children by leaving family and work separate. Find something that can done at certain times of the day and make an effort not to miss these memorable moments. A traditional ritual will be developed that the children will carry on into adulthood. Parents should also find a way to shift from the work mood to the family mood. Be there when it counts. I think we can all remember one time when we were really hoping for Mom or Dad to be there to watch a play, sport game or another event and no one showed up. Dont let your children down, make arrangements to attend those special events.. Parents should talk more about their work life with their children. Kids are very curious and they want to know what is going on in your life. Take time to tell your child what you do during the day when you are gone. And lastly, find out how your child is feeling each day even if they resist in telling you. They may try to push you away but hang in there , they will appreciate the fact that you care.

-- Anonymous, May 09, 2000

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