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Finding Balance with Work and Family

11/28/2015 08:09PM ● Published by Hood Magazine

By Kris Graham, CEO, Southeastern Behavioral Health

Being a working parent can be difficult when you are trying to find the right balance between work and family.  It is important that you focus on making the best of your opportunities as a working parent to help your children feel special. The greatest gift you can give your children is to have a hopeful outlook on life no matter what your circumstances are.... all circumstances offer us the opportunity to learn and grow!  Listed below are seven possibilities you can use to interact with your children even if you are limited on time!


1) Take time for hugs. No matter how busy you are, there is always time for a quick hug. Hugs can lift spirits and change attitudes and sometimes it can be the most effective method to stop misbehavior. Try it the next time you are feeling frazzled or your child is whining and see for yourself.


2) Hold weekly family meetings. 20 to 30 minutes a week is a small investment of time with huge payoffs. Children feel very special when they are listened to, taken seriously and have their thoughts and ideas validated.

3) Ask for help. Children need to feel needed. It is much different when you ask for help in an inviting manner instead of lecturing and scolding. "I would appreciate anything you can do to spruce up the family room before dinner," usually invites much more cooperation than scolding.

4) Schedule special time on a regular basis. This does not take very much time and can be comforting to parents and children when it is part of the schedule. Very young children need special time daily for 10 to 15 minutes. This doesn't mean you never spend more time than that. It does mean that you have scheduled special time for you and your child to count on and look forward to.

5) Share key points of your day as part of the bedtime routine. When tucking your child into bed at night, take a few minutes to let her share the things that happened to her that day, happy and sad.  Just listen respectfully without trying to solve the problem. Then share your saddest time of the day.

6) Take a few seconds to write a note for your child's lunch bag, pillow, or mirror.  A small gesture will go a long way and make your child feel very special.

7) When you run a short errand in the car, ask one of your children to ride along.  During these rides be a closet listener (don't ask questions). You may be surprised at how much your children may open up and start talking when there is no "inquisition" that invites them to clam up. 

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