The family unit of parents and children is the most
important aspect of our life. Some families are big
with at least four children while others opt
family units of one or two children. Nowadays, it is
unusual for families to have more than three children
especially urban families. Whatever the number, a
common complaint nowadays is 'my parents have no
time for me' or 'my children prefer to spend time with
their friends'. This begs the question why or what is
the reason for such complaints.
A very basic rule of parenting is that parents
should spend time with their children. This is the
time when parents can show their love and care for
their children, physically and emotionally. Similarly,
the children can show that they appreciate their
parents' love and this brings about a strong parent-child relationship. Both parties benefit.
Work commitment is one reason why parents
do not spend time with their children. They are the
bread winners and always want their children to
have the best. Often both parents work to support
the family especially because of the high cost of
living. Sometimes, mothers opt for a career outside
the home as they find the role of a homemaker too
restricting. This preoccupation with their careers
means less time with their children. Consequently,
the children turn to their friends who are there to offer
a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on as and when
it is necessary. They confide and open up to their
friends more than their parents. Another substitute
for their parents is the maid who is always there.
When parents get home from the office and
the children from school, it does not mean that they
gravitate to each other with their problems. Most of
the time, it is just a gruff, "How was your day?" and
a mumbled answer. Then, they are on their own -
mother prepares a meal, father and children either in
front of the computer or their iPhones. They spend
time together at a meal but each is more absorbed in
his or her own thoughts rather than what the others
are thinking about.
This scenario is inevitable and common and it
is a disturbing aspect of our so-called progressive
society. What can both parties do to correct the
situation? Parents can reschedule their activities with
the aim of spending more time with their children.
Plan for holidays, real holidays together. Children can
also do some rescheduling and spend less time with
their friends. Have quality time together doing the
same things. Have common interests like watching
a game of football or badminton together. Ask about
each other's day sincerely and listen to the replies
attentively. This will help forge a close and healthy
relationship and is a good and effective example of
spending time together.
Spending time together whether as parents and
children or among friends take effort and time. Stay
focused and you will reap the harvest of your efforts.