Presence or Presents? You decide!
Tayo, an only child baby-sitted by Granny, wakes up to prepare for school, only to find mum and dad have left for work as usual. Granny explains: Mum has to be at the Bank and Dad has to be at the construction site. He tries to stay awake to catch a glimpse of his parents before dozing off at night, but his eyes are too full of sleep. Looking forward to every weekend, he hopes Dad can take him to the cinema, only to find out from Mum that Dad had to travel on an official trip again. Mum is usually busy attending social functions at weekends, never having time for him. To make up for this, his mum and dad buy him the latest toys and gadgets to make him happy.
“Your children need your presence more than your presents”
– Jesse Jackson
One love language children understand is Quality time. Oh yes, they love the gifts and may go the extra mile to earn one every now and then but most importantly, children desire and need the love and presence of their parents. They want their parents to help them out and supervise their homework. They want to chat about what happened in school with their mum. They want Dad to take them out to the park. They want so much more than the gifts. I can hear someone think “They always want, can they ever stop wanting?” The truth is parenting is the greatest investment. You can invest in stocks, real estate, land etc, but investing in your children yields the greatest returns in life.
It is becoming more difficult to juggle work and family but quite possible when priorities are set. Sadly, many parents have “lost” their children in a bid to earn more and stay competitive. Children who are not under adult supervision and lack parent figures often associate with the wrong people and make misguided decisions.
Here are 10 tips on spending quality time and enhancing your relationship with your kids
- Make yourself emotionally accessible and available for your child.
- Supervise their homework as often as possible.
- Set aside a time each week for a special outing with your kids.
- Help them with their school projects.
- Saturday mornings are excellent times to play games or engage in sports/exercise with your family.
- Regularly attend Parents- Teacher’s Association (PTA) meetings.
- Visit your child’s school during open or visiting days.
- Ensure you have regular contact with your child’s class teacher.
- Discuss with your child about his/her interests and aspirations.
- Endeavor to check through your child’s note book to monitor his/her academic progress.
- As often as you can, teach your children moral lessons as you have learned yourself while growing up.
Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege,
than the raising of the next generation
– C. Everett Koop
To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today!
In your hands lie the power to shape the outcome of your child. Choose to be a “presence-parent“ rather than a “presents-parent”. Give your attention and time to your children and you will reap the rewards soon enough!
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