As a parent in the modern day, you can only do your best to try and raise your kids right, as much as it may seem like the odds are stacked heavily against you. For one, life, as it exists today, is much, much busier than that of say our grandparents and even our parents, which inevitably means we get to spend less time interacting with our children between the parents’ jobs, the kids’ schooling and the extracurricular activities they’re rightfully pushed to participate in.
Consequently, many parents tend to feel like they’re just coasting along with regards to the raising of their children, beyond that stage in life when they wholly depend on you for their basic survival. It’s not a nice feeling to have and for me personally thinking about this goes all the way back to when my husband and I were both working as au pairs for a wealthy family back in Ghana.
I mean in that specific case the kids were lucky enough to have two young nannies looking after them, but for many not-so-wealthy families the pan African culture generally has children spending a lot of their time under the tutelage of their grandparents. This is particularly true with the first born child of any young family – chances are a good portion of their childhood will be spent with their grandparents while mum and dad are still trying to figure things out properly by way of their careers and homemaking.
It’s not a nice feeling to have, that of feeling like you could perhaps just make more of an effort to play a bigger role in your child’s life and I’m not talking about the regular responsibilities we have as parents. I’m talking about sitting down with your children and engaging with them with regards to their opinion on certain things or just enjoying the unique perspective they have on life, as they see it through the oh so curious eyes of a child.
I’m not blaming anyone here because, for the most part, it’s just the nature of the game, but many parents don’t make enough of an effort to play an active role in their children’s lives. That eight to 12 hour period each day when your child is at school or making their commute to-and-from their institution of learning seemingly gives most parents licence to forget that they even have a child and so they leave all responsibility to the school, its teachers and all the associated figures of authority.
Again, it’s perfectly understandable as a result of the modern day pressures we’re faced with, but an effort should at least be made. It’ll mean a lot to your kids and might even help you to point out some areas in their development which need special attention, so make the resolution to take a little bit more of an active role in your child’s life.
Asking to see their homework and perhaps offering to help them with it once in a while will do as a start and it’s simple gestures such as these which make the biggest impact.