Unlike the pre-digital age, the boundaries between work and home are hardly clear anymore, and work is likely to invade your personal space. Today, maintaining a work-life balance is no joke. Trying to balance work and home life can be especially tricky for parents of young children.1
Why work-life balance is good
Finding a work-life balance means you’re likely to feel:
- Less stressed and worn-out
- More in control of your time
- Better able to meet commitments
For your child
Being physically and emotionally present for your child helps them to learn and develop. A work-life balance can help you make this time for your child.2 Positive parent-child bonding is built on quality time.3
Ideas to spend quality time with your child
Quality time is all about being available for your child- it could be for half an hour or for 2 hours. The time is not what is important here, but how you spend that time with your child is important.4
Below are a few ideas that you may want to try with your child:
Be Interested: Be aware of your child’s day-to-day activities.4
Try to tune in to what your child is really saying: For instance, if your child is narrating a story about all the things that happened during the day, what they really might be saying is that they like their new school teacher or that they are in a good mood.
Let the child lead the activities: When spending time with your children, let them lead the activity and choose what they want to play. Encouraging your child to lead the activities provides them with the opportunity to share particular interests, teach you something, and feel in control and invested in their relationship with you.3,4
Plan some regular one-on-one time: On busy working days, you may not get a lot of one-on-one time with your child, but it’s a good idea to have longer interactions whenever you can.3
Share an interest: Ask your child if they’d be interested in participating in an activity or interest of your choice. Make sure to actively involve your child in the activity rather than just being a bystander. You and your child may discover a shared interest, or if your child would prefer not to participate in your activity again, go back to showing an interest in their activities and passions.4
Schedule special date times: If it’s possible, schedule a date with your child where it is just you and your child spending time together doing something outside the daily routine that requires more effort and planning.4
There’s no correct formula for getting your parent-child bond right, and there’ll be times when it’s hard to relate to your child the way you want to. But keep working on improving your relationship with your child to make them feel loved and secure.3 And always remember- any time you can spend interacting positively with your child is valuable.4
- Mayo Clinic. Work-life balance: Tips to reclaim control [Internet]. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/work-... Accessed on Feb 27, 2020.
- Work-life balance: tips for your family [Internet]. Available at: https://raisingchildren.net.au/grown-ups/work-child-care/worklife-balanc.... Accessed on Feb 27, 2020.
- Building good parent-child relationships [Internet]. Available at: https://raisingchildren.net.au/newborns/connecting-communicating/bonding.... Accessed on Feb 27, 2020.
- Changes Psychology. Quality Time with Dad [Internet]. Available at: https://changespsychology.com.au/quality-time-with-dad/. Accessed on Feb 27, 2020.