There is a lot in the media about being an “involved parent” and why it is a good and a bad thing.
There is a lot in the media about being an “involved parent” and why it is a good and a bad thing. Involved parenting is when a parent participates in their child’s life in every aspect and sometimes is overwhelming for children but not always.
Here in the office, we are on the fence about involved parenting as taking an interest in your kiddies’ lives can hardly be a crime, can it? Anyway, here are ways you can be an involved parent without annoying your kids:
Give time to your kids but also, give them free time – Involved parents usually love to be included in their child’s lives so much they tend to spend a huge amount of time with their kids. There is nothing wrong with that, but parents need to realise their child needs time away from them too to grow in independence. A child needs to feel they are loved but respected so by spending time with and away from your child you are doing them a good turn. Give your child time with their pals and with other families if they wish.
Ask your child about getting involved – You may think nothing of getting yourself involved in your child’s football team or their swimming classes, but have you asked your child? Some kids will be delighted to have their parent on board but for others, they may prefer the space at their activity. Before you sign yourself up, respect your kiddies’ opinion and ask them. It is lovely that you want to be involved but your child needs to be happy about that and comfortable.
Talk to your kiddie – Every family needs to communicate with each other, and family meals are a good opportunity to get those conversations in. However, don’t grill your kids at dinner about their day instead, chat easily and in a laid-back manner about things. Offer your day insights and ask the kids how their day was but stop short of demanding an answer if your child is quietly shifting the answer around.
They may have had a bad day, or they may just be tired but respect their privacy. Check in with them later when they are alone and see how they are. In most cases, your child just needed some downtime and is now ready to chat. If they aren’t, take a mental note of it and see how your child is tomorrow.
Turn off technology – We are all guilty of too many technology devices and everyone in the family can forget to talk to one another. Make a promise to have “tech-free” times and do other things like board games or watching movies as a family. Most kids will hate “tech-free” times but explain the need for family time and then, give your child back their device to do their own thing. Respect their need to do what they love and though you have boundaries, try and meet a middle ground on it.
Finally, be honest with your kids and have a good honesty policy at home that means everyone should be open with one another. Your kids will respect you for trusting them and for being so honest with them too. That way you won’t annoy them by being too involved in their life!
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.