Parenting Information

Eye-Opening Questions for Working Parents to Ask

I remember watching my 18-month-old son eat a big frosted cookie while I was carrying him out of the bakery. I asked him, "Can you give mommy a bite?" He leaned over and gently bit me on the cheek.

Kids take things so literally. What misconceptions and concerns might your child have about their working parent?

An in-depth study was done through the Families and Work Institute, to find out what children want from their working parents. Wouldn't you think the study would show that kids want more time with working parents above all else? Surprise. They want their working parents to be less stressed. That's right. Less stressed. It makes sense. Doesn't it? Think of how you feel after spending time with stressed-out people.

Balancing the needs of work and family isn't easy. It takes skill, planning, and a lot of positive communication. Even then, it's easy to get stressed by time constraints and conflicting demands, especially around the holidays.

Try asking your kids these eight questions. Their answers might surprise you.

* Where do I work?
* What do you suppose I do at work?
* Why do you think I go to work?
* What would it be like if I didn't work?
* What do you like about me going to work?
* What's the hardest part for you about me going to work?
* In what ways would you like things to be different?
* How do you suppose I feel about working?

Your family life will be enriched when you open communication by letting kids express their thoughts and ideas. Read the do's and don'ts to prepare for an eye-opening conversation.

- Don't insist on asking every question in one sitting. Continue as long as your child is interested in the conversation.

- Expect the unexpected. You may be delighted by some of your child's thoughts and dismayed by others. Five-year-old, Bryan, told his dad with complete sincerity, "I think you go to work so you can be with friends your own age."

- See your child's negative responses as feedback to consider, instead of criticism.

- Don't shut down communication, when you don't like what you hear. Allowing your kids to fully express themselves will strengthen your relationship. Let them feel comfortable sharing their thoughts with you, even the scary or angry ones. Don't make your kids fear your reaction.

- Acknowledge your child's feelings. Suppose she says, "I think you go to work because you don't like to be with me." Resist the urge to cut her off with, "You know that's not true!" Be helpful by saying, "I didn't know you felt that way. Would you like to know how I feel about it? . . ."

- Focus on listening more than you talk. It's easy for me to talk on and on about what I'm passionate about. What I've found is, the more I talk, the less my kids listen. They tune me out. Don't overwhelm kids with too much information. Give brief and age appropriate responses.

- Encourage kids to guess when they aren't sure how to answer a question. It takes the pressure off and makes the questions more playful.

- There isn't always a quick fix to resolving conflict. When kids feel insecure or unhappy about family issues, don't expect one conversation to clear everything up. It takes time for kids and adults to break out of old habits of thinking.

- If you are a stay-at-home parent, shed a positive light on the parent who works outside the home. I still remember the warm feelings I had when my mom would say, "Your daddy works so hard for his family." Parents, whether married or divorced, working outside or inside the home, will reduce tension by showing appreciation for the positives of the other parent.

- The question, "What would it be like if I didn't work?" may reveal your child's favorite things to do. If she answers, "We would sing songs or play make-believe or read books," you can sprinkle those activities into the time you have at home.

- Help kids understand that working is another way of taking care of them by providing financial support. It can be a model for achieving a sense of fulfillment and contribution to society. Don't create fear around the need to work. Instead focus on the needs it meets.

- When your child shares feelings of hardship with having a working parent, show compassion not pity. Pity makes a child feel pitiful and feeds their insecurities. Talk about how the child wishes things could be. Possibly make changes to ease the hard parts for them and for yourself.

- Follow up the discussion with a visit to your workplace. If that's not possible, show your child a picture of your workplace, or paint a picture with your words so they can imagine where you are when you aren't home. This creates security for kids, replacing fear of the unknown with a positive image.

Tensions are reduced when kids and parents share their thoughts and ideas. Balancing work and family is tricky business, and well worth the efforts.

Marilyn Suttle shows you how to create satisfying work and family relationships, increase self esteem and self care. Marilyn shares delightful stories filled with useful skills and principles. She has presented programs to corporations both large and small, including Fortune 500 companies such as Ford Motor Company, Visteon Corporation, and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. She delivers programs that enlighten, entertain and empower.Email her at Marilyn@SuttleOnline.NET. Subscribe to her Free monthly e-newsletter by visiting her web site: WWW.SuttleOnline.NET.



Scientific American

Secrets of Successful Parenting
Scientific American
Amazon offers more than 180,000 parenting guides—more than double the number of diet books, as psychology professor Robert Epstein notes in “What Makes a Good Parent?” Clearly, many parents long for child-rearing advice. The articles in this issue ...


A 'Dads' T-Shirt Starts a Conversation on Parenting
(Newser) – The message may seem so obvious as to not require stating, but a photo of a shirt that reads "Dads Don't Babysit (It's Called 'Parenting')" has sparked a larger conversation about parenting on Reddit and beyond. The man behind the shirt, ...

Huffington Post

20 Hilarious Comics That Show You Just Can't Win While Parenting
Huffington Post
To prove him wrong, and to show herself she could continue to make art as a mother, Carr created Mom Comic, a series of spot-on cartoons about parenting. “I've found doing the comic has been a cathartic way to get through the first year of raising a ...

The Globe and Mail

When parenting choices are criminal
The Globe and Mail
Is it ever anyone else's business how we choose to raise our kids? When it comes to parenting, everybody has an opinion – and along the way, parents will make mistakes. Everyone does. If you'd like to witness the most passive aggressive of behaviours ...

Huffington Post

Kim Kardashian's Face Swap With North Is Parenting For The Snapchat Generation
Huffington Post
If you haven't wasted hours on end swapping your face out with those of your favorite celebrities, family members and unsuspecting strangers on the subway, can you really call yourself a Snapchatter? Kim Kardashian had some fun with the feature on ...
Kim Kardashian responds to negative headlines about 'marriage troubles' and her parenting
'It's not true': Kim Kardashian shuts down rumours her marriage is in trouble – or that she ignores North West!CelebsNow

all 241 news articles »

RVA Parenting: Laundry detergent pods pose dangers for kids
They are convenient and lightweight, but concentrated laundry detergent pods could be an alarming danger in your home if you have young children. “The interesting thing with these detergent pods is, unlike normal detergent, if a child swallows just ...

and more »

Hamilton Spectator

Kim Basinger's unconventional parenting
Hamilton Spectator
Kim Basinger was an "unconventional" mother because she worried about how her divorce affected her daughter. The 62-year-old actress split from Alec Baldwin after eight years of marriage in 2002 when their daughter Ireland was just seven years old and ...
Kim Basinger Tells How Bitter Alec Baldwin Divorce Affected Her ParentingPopdust

all 65 news articles »

Huffington Post

What Is Attachment Parenting? It may be different than you think.
Huffington Post
Chances are, before your baby is even born, everyone around you has already formed a strong opinion about which parenting style is best. But, how you decide to parent will ultimately depend on your lifestyle, personality and your baby's temperament.
Parenting Tips: 3 Things You Didn't Know About Attachment Parenting; No. 2 Will Make You Want To Practice ItParent Herald

all 2 news articles »

Parent Herald

Free-Range Parenting: Is The Hands-Off Approach In Parenting Beneficial To Children?
Parent Herald
Free-range parenting became a popular topic for debate when a New York City parent Lenore Skenazy shared her experience in trying the hands-off approach in raising kids. In Skenazy's New York Sun column in 2008, she recounted the time when she ...

Free-Range Parenting: The Unintended Consequences
Huffington Post
The concept of free-range products and branding is spectacularly successful in the culinary world. I must admit I appreciate and buy into the concept of free-range in that arena; however, I do not support the concept of free-range parenting as a ...

Google News

Article List | Index | Site Map
All logos, trademarks and articles on this site are property and copyright of their respective owner(s).
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is Copyright © 2006 - All Rights Reserved.