How important is our presence to our kids?
We were having breakfast early this morning when my four year-old kid Keon asked me and my wife a question that brought a smile to my face.
“Do you have work tomorrow?” he asked.
We told him yes but then asked him back why even if my wife and I both knew the answer he was going to give.
“Because I want you both here. We are all happy when we are all here.” he replied back.
We told him to wait till Thursday when Mom and Dad will both be home again and that we will be spending four days together. That was enough to brighten his day I guess because he danced around and shouted “Yey!” over and over upon hearing what we just told him.
It’s amazing how kids, at such a young age, can sometimes surprise us with the questions they ask. I know that my son, at his age, can already understand, or at least have a concept of what’s going on around him but it still brings me great joy to know that he appreciates the love and attention my wife and I give him and his siblings.
My wife and I have similar point of views when it comes to raising kids. We both work hard to provide for the family but we always make it a point to have time for the kids especially during weekends. I know there are couples out there who has a regularly scheduled date night for themselves but for my wife and I, our dates will always involve the kids. We tried it once or twice but we always ended up talking about the kids, checking on the kids and wanting to go home to be with them.
Weekends are non-negotiable
My job would sometimes require me to work on weekends but if it can be avoided, I always make sure that I spend the weekend with the family and my wife does this too. Our kids spend the whole week mostly at school and my wife and I in the office so as much as possible, we try to give the weekends to them.
Whether we go to the mall or just stay at home watching television all day, I find that the kids appreciate these times. They cherish each and every second we all spend together and that’s just priceless.
Be hands on when you can
Many of us have nannies looking after our children when we go to work. These people take over our roles as soon as we leave our homes in the morning to earn a living for the family. They bathe them, change their clothes and feed them. Most of them treat our children like their own but sometimes, we tend to over-rely on them especially when we arrive home tired and exhausted.
My wife and I have made it a point to take back the role of being a parent as soon as we get home. Children long for our touch, our personal care even if we have nannies to do it for us. Even on the presence of our nanny, my children would always ask either my wife or I to brush their teeth, wash them, and change their clothes before they go to sleep and we’re always there to do it.
I was in the barber shop one time with Keon to get ourselves a haircut and there was this kid who was having tantrums while his mom held him. The kid refused to sit in the barber’s chair no matter what his mom does and I was told by the barber that the kid was used to going to the barber shop with his nanny who was on vacation during that day. I can see how the mom felt helpless and embarrassed at the same time because she didn’t know how to make her son stop and I felt sorry for her not only for the situation she was in but also for how the kid felt less comfortable being with her than with the nanny.
Make yourself available on special occasions
My eldest daughter Kylie graduated from elementary just recently and even if she’s already almost a teenager, I still saw how happy she was to see both her parents present.
Keon also had his going up ceremony a week after and just like the previous week, my wife and I were both present. My wife and I have made it a point to take leaves during occasions that fall on weekdays not only for their happiness but because we both know how important these events are for them. As parents, we need to be there for them on these special dates because such events will only happen once. The graduations, first communions, and school plays will only come once in their lives. I wouldn’t want them to ask me 20 years from now why I wasn’t in the pictures.
Do activities together
We have a basketball goal in our garage and when I’m at home, I try to make time, even for a couple of minutes to shoot some hoops with my son. I find that he appreciates me teaching him how to play and he really enjoys this time we have together.
We also watch cartoons and movies with them and we all enjoy hanging out in one of the milk tea shops near our place. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Jogging in the morning together or having a picnic in the park will be more than enough for them.
Our presence plays a big role in our child’s development. They have role models they can look up to and they will grow up to be good parents too. While it’s important to earn money to support our needs, we should also remember to always allot time for our family. Family should always come first.