Every kid needs his own cheering squad, sounding board and mentor.
These roles are some of the many in the long list detailed in the job description of a parent.
All these roles require a parent’s presence.
You must be available to your child.
So how does this work, now that the majority of children have both parents working outside the home, often for long hours?
Once again, creative thinking is a must.
Here are a few ways you can be present for your child, even when your time is limited.
- When you and your child are both home, turn your cellphone off, as much as that is feasible.
- Call your child during your break at work, if your child is available. You may just have time to touch base, but that’s still something.
- Play Norman Rockwell and have a family dinner, even if you can’t do this every day. Again, no electronic devices allowed!
- Keep up a dialogue diary with your child. Pass a notebook back and forth where you write to each other. Make an agreement on where it will be kept, such as a certain place on a book shelf or under each other’s pillows. This can also be done by emails back and forth.
You may well have periods in your parenting career when you simply cannot be as available to your child as you should be.
Make sure you don’t emotionally abandon your child, even temporarily. If you see that you’re not going to be able to be an address for even a short period of time, bring in other role models with whom your child feels comfortable.