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Be There For Your Kid
Finding time to bond with your kid is an important thing...and also a tough one. With a demanding job, pressing appointments and only 24 hours in a day to spend, it is not unusual that a parent can hardly find time to be with his children.
The usual parent would be up early in the morning, take his breakfast and rush off to a 9 to 5 job, and to beat the traffic, this would be an early exit from the house when the children would probably still be sleeping. When the children are awake and at home, he is in the office or working in the field. And when he returns from work, especially if he works overtime, it will be somewhat late at night with the children already sleeping and in bed.
The dilemma of a parent is indeed to find time to spend with his children and to bond and foster a relationship with his children.
A relationship requires time to be formed. It requires time to be nurtured. It requires care and attention to be established, and understanding of the children needs.
What then should a parent do?
Consider some of these tips that work for a majority of parents.
Deliberately establish a portion of your time weekly to be with your child.
Plan ahead to make sure the time spent with your child is quality time.
Dedicate the time with your child solely to enjoying the time spent with him and forget whatever other business in your mind at that time!
Share experiences, skills and transfer knowledge to your kid when you spend time with him
Consider your child a replica of yourself years back when you were his age - you will do your best to draw near to him and project warmth and understanding of his needs for his age
Establishing a realtionship with your child takes effort, time and priority. There is no way out and no substitute. But in the process you can find tremendous joy in knowing you have bonded with your kid, and have enjoyed his trust and companionship, and he in turn has found you to be a parent, a father or a mother, and also his best friend.
BONUS : "Because" Just Isn't the Answer
Children are inquisitive by nature. When they are younger, it's usually because they want to better understand something. When they are older, it's because they want to better understand why you think something is important and why they should also feel the same way. Regardless of their age, it's imperative that when setting forth the rules and expectations in your home, your child understands there is no room for questioning the rules you set forth and the consequences of breaking the rules.
Younger children usually do not understand a lengthy explanation of why it's important that they be home from their friend's home at a certain time or why they aren't allowed to play ball in the house. But the one thing they do strive to do most of the time is to make their parents proud and happy. So when a young child asks "Why?" or "Why not?" when they are told they can't play with something or someone or why they have to obey a rule you've set forth, simply explain to them that "because it makes me happy when you follow the house rules and do what I have asked of you." You should avoid using the term, "Because I said so," as that only adds to the child's frustration and confusion.
Older children, adolescents and teenagers alike will probably require more from your explanation. When they question "Why?" or "Why not?" it's best to directly, honestly and clearly state your reasoning. "I asked you to be home by 10 p.m. because we have to be at the dentist's office first thing in the morning for your check-up and we can't be late." It is also a great opportunity for you to reiterate the consequences of breaking the rule. "If you are not home by 10 p.m., you'll be grounded from going to your friend's house for a week." Be consistent, be firm, and be clear.
Though your child may challenge you by asking your reasoning why a rule has been put in place, it also shows their growth as an individual thinker. So try not to get angry or frustrated when they do so; realize it's their way of understanding their world around them.