The parent-child relationship has been greatly impacted by working parents. There are times that parents have less or no knowledge at all about the everyday lives of their children. Less involvement with their children's affairs especially about school has become a big problem as far as the parent-child relationship is concerned. Both parties suffer the consequences.
Scientific research shows that a working parent suffers several job- related stressors which trigger negative actions from the parent. Some of these negative emotions as a result of stressful days in the workplace are anger, irritability and being socially withdrawn. These stress -inducing situations at work are spilled over at home causing friction between the employed person, the spouse and children. Research shows that job related activities also affect the worker in terms of mood, thoughts, and how the employed person behaves. There is no doubt that these negative factors will affect the relationship quality between working parents and their children. The working parents have to exert extra effort to cope with this challenge as a healthy relationship among family members will only be attained through the initiative of the parents.
Take for example, a father who works eight hours a day. He goes home at the end of the day feeling tired and exhausted physically. He's also stressed out because of the burden of work, demanding and workaholic boss, extension of time to finish the task for the day, and other stressful situations in the office. Thus, when he goes home the negative feelings are there that he also gets angry with his children. In turn, the children's behavior becomes withdrawn and hostile. On the weekend, the father has to take a rest because it is the only time to sleep more and be able to regain energy from a week of exhausting days.
This is the dilemma most parents are faced with: to be able to engage with the children with quality time amidst experiences of stress-related situations in the workplace. There must be an equal opportunity to be a parent and to be a breadwinner. For some, this is not achievable but for many, it is very possible.
How do you define quality time? Oxford Dictionary asserts quality time as "time spent in giving another person undivided attention in order to strengthen a relationship." This is related to spending quality time between parents and children. This is a happy moment for children when their parents devote some time with them even once a week. Family bonding promotes positive interactions and stronger relationships among family members.
There are numerous ways on how working parents can spend an excellent time with their children.
Eating together. This activity is an ordinary scene inside the house but the impact on the children is great. Mealtime is a good opportunity for parents to ask about school, teachers, and friends. Children become more outspoken and revealing when parents ask them about the goings on their lives especially when school and their friends are concerned. Sometimes they are unstoppable! At mealtime, parents can explain things such as why they have to leave home and work the whole day. They can also explain their behavior whether it be negative or positive. And children can understand more of their parents' behavior
Playing and doing physical exercise together. This is also an ordinary activity for parents and children but has a big impact on children's impression on their parents. For example they can play different games such as chess, basketball, or other fun games that children love and enjoy. They may play computer games or other online games just for the fun of it.
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There are families who take a vacation for the purpose of family bonding. At the chosen location, there are many activities that could be done with the family members. During summer vacation, swimming is part of the activities that children look forward to. While swimming, parents could teach their children how to swim and they may also guide them in this activity. Another water activity is kayaking or surfing. Children are excited about this and they are happiest when parents are in tow.
At home, during weekends parents can bond with their children by helping them with their coloring books and also doing storytelling before they go to sleep. Children's imagination is vast and they really listen attentively to the storyteller.
Another possible bonding moment is when you let the children spend time with you in the supermarket to buy groceries. This will promote thrift and wise spending of money. Parents could explain to the children that not all those things they request their parents to buy will be needed . Instilling in the minds of children that saying” No” sometimes is better and not bad at all.