Problems of Children with Working Parents: Oprah’s Solution
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Children with working parents have a big problem, according to Oprah. They have parents who “are so fixated on their 9-5 jobs that they’ve lost focus of their 5 pm-9 am jobs—their families.” Oprah’s solution is to create another TV program, this time called, “Kidnapped by the Kids.” This show is about, “Kids confronting their parents,” and letting them know how they really feel. Here’s a video clip of her upcoming show about children with working parents:
Children with working parents who want more time with them get to take action!
This is bound to be a tear-jerker. As Oprah says, the show gets parents to make “the effort to unplug, to tune in and to be present.” And, to recognize as one mother says to her husband, “They just want more of you.”
Well, I have worked with 100’s of children with working parents and I am here to tell you that I have been helping parents do this for years. The biggest complaints that I hear from my kids is that their parents are either, “Too busy,” “Don’t have time,” or “Don’t Listen.” A good majority of kids think that their parents’ jobs are more important than they are. Which is ironic, because every parent will say that their kids are the most important things in their lives. But the question is…Do you live your life as though your kids are your top priority? It’s not enough just to know it, feel it, believe it…Do you show it?
Many a parent comes in to my office complaining about how demanding their kids are when they come home from work. All these parents want to do is come in and relax. In this day and age, there are so many stressors on working parents, that it’s easy to lose sight of what is really important. And it’s easy to use up all your energy before even walking in the door at night, knowing there is still dinner to cook, homework to supervise, baths to give and bedtime to nail down. But attached to those mundane tasks are the precious children you are in charge of raising.
The good news is that children with working parents want more time with their parents. The sad news comes when they stop asking for your time and attention. So, if your kids are bugging you to play with them, tuck them in or help them with their homework…recognize that they want you. And that’s a good thing.
My suggestion: Take a few minutes either before you go home, or once inside the door, to unwind. Perhaps read the newspaper, take a refreshing shower, spend private time in the bathroom, do some yoga stretches or a few minutes of deep breathing/meditation or go for a quick run. A few minutes to shed the stress of the day and regroup for some time with your family will help you “unplug, tune in and be present” for the people who are your true priorities in life.
And, I recommend not waiting for the kids to have to confront you like the children with working parents do on Oprah’s show. Keep the lines of communication by checking in every so often and asking each of your kids individually, “How can I be a better parent?” And be prepared to really listen to their answers.
What do you think your kids’ answers might be?