The family unit of parents and children is the most important aspect of our life. Some families are big with at least four children while others opt for smaller family units of one or two children. Nowadays, it is unusual for families to have more than three children especially urban families. Whatever the number, a common complaint nowadays is ‘my parents have no time for me’ or ‘my children prefer to spend time with their friends’. This begs the question of why or what is the reason for such complaints.
A very basic rule of parenting is that parents should spend time with their children. This is the time when parents can show their love and care for their children, physically and emotionally. Similarly, the children can show that they appreciate their parents’ love and this brings about a strong parent-child relationship. Both parties benefit.
Work commitment is one reason why parents do not spend time with their children. They are the bread winners and always want their children to have the best. Often both parents work to support the family especially because of the high cost of living. Sometimes, mothers opt for a career outside the home as they find the role of a homemaker too restricting. This preoccupation with their careers means less time with their children. Consequently, the children turn to their friends who are there to offer a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on as and when it is necessary. They confide and open up to their friends more than their parents. Another substitute for their parents is the maid who is always there.
When parents get home from the office and the children from school, it does not mean that they gravitate to each other with their problems. Most of the time, it is just a gruff, “How was your day?” and a mumbled answer. Then, they are on their own – mother prepares a meal, father and children either in front of the computer or their iPhones. They spend time together at a meal but each is more absorbed in his or her own thoughts rather than what the others are thinking about.
This scenario is inevitable and common and it is a disturbing aspect of our so-called progressive society. What can both parties do to correct the situation? Parents can reschedule their activities with the aim of spending more time with their children. Plan for holidays, real holidays together. Children can also do some rescheduling and spend less time with their friends. Have quality time together doing the same things. Have common interests like watching a game of football or badminton together. Ask about each other’s day sincerely and listen to the replies attentively. This will help forge a close and healthy relationship and is a good and effective example of spending time together.
Spending time together whether as parents and children or among friends take effort and time. Stay focused and you will reap the harvest of your efforts.