Whether one or both parents work, moms and dads can find it challenging to hold down jobs and also effectively parent their children. It can be difficult to make the decision for both parents to go to work, but in some cases it is the only option available, especially in these increasingly tough economic times. Although often having both parents working can help out a bit financially, there are other problems and difficulties that can rise up as you try to be a parent and a career person as well. There are challenges that arise, your child may go through stages where their behavior shows that they want more of your attention, so you have to find the right balance between working and parenting. Let’s take a look at these challenges, signs, and some tips that will help you to keep that connection with your children, even when you’re working hard.
Challenges of Working Parents
There are a variety of challenges that you’ll have to do with if you and your partner are both working and trying to raise your children. Let’s take a look at some of the most common challenges that working parents deal with.
Challenge #1 – Finding the Right Childcare – If you have smaller children, one of the main challenges that working parents go through is finding the right childcare. You want to make sure that you find childcare for your children that is going to be safe and educational and this can be difficult. The financial aspect of the childcare can be stressful as well. Although older children go to school during the school year, you may even need childcare for them during the summer months.
Challenge #2 – Balancing Work and Family Life – Balancing work and family life can be equally challenging. It’s difficult to come up from work and then switch over from the corporate world to family life. This switch can be difficult to get a handle on, and at the end up the day when you are tired physically and emotionally, swinging into full parenting gear can be difficult.
Challenge #3 – Getting Everything Around the Home Done – Getting everything around the home done is difficult as well when both parents work. However, remember that this is not the most important thing – your children are more important. Try getting the kids involved in chores to have more time together.
Challenge #4 – Staying Involved in Your Child’s Education – When both parents are working, staying involved in your child’s education becomes even more difficult. Staying on top of homework, dealing with parent/teacher conferences becomes challenging, and it’s hard to really keep an eye on what they are, or are not, learning in school.
Signs Your Child Wants More Attention
Many times when both parents are working, they don’t realize until it is too late that their child is craving their attention. It’s important to make sure you have plenty of time for your children, even if it is difficult. Here are some of the top signs your child wants and needs more of your attention.
Sign #1 – Your Child Talks Incessantly – If your child is talking all the time, this is a good clue that they want your attention. They talk as fast as possible to get you to listen and to try to get you to be a part of their life.
Sign #2 – Your Child Competes with Siblings – Children often compete with another sibling to get your attention. This can include competing in games, in everyday tasks, or even competing in bad behavior to get the most attention.
Sign #3 – Your Child Begins to Get Bad Grades – If you notice that your child begins to get bad grades, this may be a sign that your child wants and needs more of your attention. They may be purposefully getting the bad grades to get your attention, but more than likely they are just struggling because you aren’t giving them the attention they need and it’s affecting their grades.
Sign #4 – Your Child Starts to Withdraw – Often children also start to withdraw if they are not getting the attention that they need. If you notice that your child is withdrawing more and more and barely participating in any family activities, they may be needing more of your time.
Sign #5 – Your Child Develops Behavioral Issues – Sudden behavioral issues that develop with your child can be a sign that your child needs more of your time. Sometimes children will start behaving badly in hopes of getting your attention, even if it is negative attention.
Great Tips to Help Working Parents Stay in Touch With Their Children
Although there are many challenges to face as working parents, there are things that you can do to make sure that you stay in touch with your children. If you’re noticing some of the signs that your children need more of your attention, here are some tips to help you get in touch and stay in touch with your kids.
Tip #1 – Ask For Help – Sometimes you can’t do it all on your own. Ask for help from your spouse, other family members, or even your kids so you can have more time with your children.
Tip #2 – Never Give Up – Even though it’s not always easy, never stop trying to get through to your children.
Tip #3 – Spend Time With Each Child – Make sure that you spend time with each of your children on an individual basis. They need this individual time.
Tip #4 – Make Sure You Take Time to Listen – It’s easy to talk, but harder to listen. Listening to your child is one of the best things you can do. You’ll open communication can find out a lot by just listening.
Tip #5 – Be Aware of What is Going On – Make sure that you are aware of what is going on in your child’s life. Know how they are doing in school, who they are friends with, and any other important information.
Tip #6 – Look for Warning Signs of Negative Behavior – Know the signs of negative behavior like gang involvement, drugs, or alcohol. If you see these signs, do some investigating.
Tip #7 – Avoid Taking Work Frustrations Out on Your Child – It’s easy to come home frustrated with work at night. However, make sure you leave those frustrations at work and avoid taking them out on your child.
Tip #8 – Have Fun as a Family!! – Taking the time to have fun together is important. Plan at least one event a week where the whole family takes the time to have some fun together.