Parents subconsciously feel guilty about not spending enough time with their children than is necessary. This parental quandary is not exclusive to working parents. Even stay-at-home mothers wonder if they are providing their children enough attention after juggling everything at home.
Is this guilt, however, worth it? Do babies or small toddlers require your undivided attention at all times? In this article, we attempt to find definitive answers to these guilt-ridden questions.
What Amount Of Time Does Your Child Require From You?
There is no conclusive answer because time is never associated with a specific number of hours.
It is important to remember that children under the age of four require the presence of their parents, or at least the mother or a primary caregiver, for the majority of the day and night.
As the child grows older, he may require less of his parents, but this is dependent on the child’s emotional needs to feel secure and safe. Because no two children are the same, their demands will differ greatly.
Ideally, parents should carefully assess their children’s requirements and ensure that one of them is present when the youngster requires emotional support or morale boosting.
Signs Are Not Spending Enough Time With Your Child
Below are some of the signs that you are not spending enough time with your child.
1. Not Knowing Your Child’s Likes & Dislikes
Parents who spend enough time with their children will be more aware of their child’s likes and dislikes.
For example, I wanted my child to eat oats, due to how healthy and nutritious it is, but unknowing to me at the time, my child is allergic to oats. It took the nanny’s intervention for me to notice he has allergies to it. I felt really embarrassed.
Both parents and children benefit from spending time together.
2. You Mostly See Them When They’re Asleep
It’s understandable that you are working hard to make ends meet. But don’t you think you should make time for your children as well? You can try to leave work early so that you can spend at least an hour or two with them before they fall asleep.
3. People Know Your Child Morethan You Do
No one should know your children better than you, whether it’s their nanny, teacher, or grandparents. When you are told about your child’s behavior, it should not surprise you because it is something you are already aware of.
This is similar to the allergy example I gave earlier.
4. Siblings Fighting
If a parent has more than one child, he or she must spend time with each child separately. It must be done, no matter how difficult it is.
Every youngster requires one-on-one attention from their parents. If parents do not take these precautions, they will see an increase in fights amongst their children.
This could be related to my prior point of rising frustration in both youngsters about not receiving enough attention from their parents.
Read also: How to Stop Teenage Siblings from Fighting
5. Paying Huge Money To Babysitters
The amount of money you pay your babysitter is a good measure of how much time you spend with your children. If your payments to the babysitter are progressively increasing, it’s a clear indication that you’re leaving your children in the time of the babysitter for far longer than you should.
Whatever you do, spending enough time with your children is critical. Your children may prefer to spend time with their grandparents or a nanny, but they still require your attention as a parent.
6. Not Familiar With Your Child’s Friends and Teachers
I believe that if a parent spends enough time with their child, they will learn everything there is to know about them.
Who is their schoolteacher? Who are their closest companions?
Every parent, in my opinion, should be aware of what is going on in their child’s life. A child’s existence revolves around his or her home and school. A child’s school is his or her second home.
7. Low-self Esteem
This is one of the most obvious warnings you are not spending enough time with your child is this.
Inattention is a major cause of low self-esteem in children. This might have a significant impact on their thinking. We are all aware that troubles from our childhood can have an impact on our adult lives.
Children whose parents spend less time with them would continuously seek their parents’ praise.
A child may believe they are not good enough or do not deserve to remain with their parents if they are not given the attention they require.
No parent wants their child to experience this. Spend some time with your child!
8. Poor Communication
Watching their parents interact with others teaches children how to communicate. When you notice your child having a hard time communicating or expressing feelings, it is a sign that you have not been doing your duty with respect to spending enough time with that child.
Family time provides an opportunity to model that communication. Spending a few minutes together at dinner or scheduling a family “meeting” might help families come to understand one another.
9. Struggling Academically
When you spend time assisting your children with their schoolwork or reading together, you establish an environment that values education. If your child feels safe approaching you with schoolwork, he or she is more likely to succeed academically.
Favoritism toward a child is one of the symptoms that you are not spending enough time with the underprivileged child.
I believe that all children should be treated equally and loved unconditionally by their parents.
In a previous post, I discussed probable reasons why parents prefer one child over the other.
The disadvantaged child will naturally believe that they do not receive enough attention from their parents.
When one child is sick or disabled, it can be extremely difficult for a parent to devote time to the other child or children.
But the other child also requires parental care!
How To Strike A Balance Between Spending Enough Time With Your Children And Giving Respecting Their Privacy?
Children require parental attention and time, but not every minute and second of their lives. Parents should be able to discern whether to spend time or interfere in their children’s lives and when to leave them alone. Here’s how you can do the same:
Allow Your Child Enough Space
Your child will require more independence and privacy from you as he grows. Don’t worry or go crazy with the rules at this time. Instead, allow your child adequate space to explore and learn about the world on his or her own.
Maintain open lines of contact with your child, though, and take an active interest in his activities and companions.
Always ask open-ended questions to your child, especially if he is in his teens, to get a sense of what is going on in his life. If you were a devoted parent, you would recognize half-hearted responses and lies.
Set Aside Time For Your Child To Talk
Whether you are a stay-at-home mother or a working mother, make sure you spend some time each day with your child.
Even if it’s simply a 15-minute stroll after supper.’ Make it a point to take a trip with your child at least once a year to assure extra quality time. Spend more time together on weekends and engage in an activity that you both enjoy.
Be Judgmental With Time:
Remember, even if children require your time, don’t go overboard or limit your time with them. Too much togetherness might cause a youngster to become overly attached to you, making him or her unable to function or think independently.
Rather than strengthening the link, it would make him an escapist.
On the other hand, a shortage of time might cause a child to become worried, depressed, lonely, insecure, and clingy.
Parents must draw the line between time spent with their children and time spent away from them. A balance is always determined based on one’s age and developmental milestones.
Parents can quickly detect if they are spending enough time with their children. If they can’t, they probably aren’t. In this instance, keep an eye out for these 10 warning signs.
Don’t give up; instead, see this as an opportunity to become a better parent.