Are you a lazy parent?

For  some people, if they are honest with themselves, the answer is yes…

Parenting is hard.  Anyone who tells you differently… Well, let’s just say for me parenting is hard.  Not because I don’t love my son but because taking care of him is more than a full-time job, it’s a lifetime of responsibility.  From the time I first knew I was pregnant until the day one of us passes away, I will be responsible for him.  Of course, that responsibility will gradually decrease as he gets older (hopefully) but I will always feel some level of accountability to be there for him.

Some parents, I have observed, don’t seem to take parenting that seriously.  They are content to allow others to do the bulk of the work – a day care center, the school system, other family members… I even had a lady who rents fun jumps tell me about the parents who bring their kids and leave them for hours without coming back to check on them.

Lazy parenting also manifests as…

“Not right now…”

“I don’t feel like it…”

“Just go somewhere and play…”

I will admit that I am guilty of uttering those phrases sometimes and I have to catch myself and be sure that I am making time for my son.  I realize that he won’t always have time for me so while he does, I need to take advantage of it.  That doesn’t mean that I drop everything I am doing when he beckons but it does mean that I…

  • look him in the eye when he’s talking to me so that he knows he has my attention
  • review his homework, everything in his backpack and ask questions about school every night to be sure I know what’s going on with him
  • try to find activities that we both enjoy – UNO, golf, reading – so that it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice when he wants to “do stuff”
  • plan dates for the two of us to hang out or go out to dinner  because I want him to know what quality time really means
  • give him more experiences than stuff… when choosing between a hundred-dollar pair of sneakers and a trip to the museum, I am sure you know which we choose
  • saving and planning for his future, yes… that is an important component of not being a lazy parent, set your kids up for success instead of failing to plan and making them suffer the consequences later in life
  • most importantly, let him win, I don’t think we spend enough time teaching our kids what it feels like to be victorious, although I can beat him in almost anything that we play, there is nothing like the excitement that I see on his face when he has won a game of UNO or hit the ball a little further than me on the golf course

Like I said, parenting isn’t easy for most of us but we owe it to our kids to put in the work to help them become well-adjusted adults.  There is not instruction manual for raising kids so we all do the best we can and that’s what our kids deserve… our best, even on our worst days.

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2 thoughts on “Are you a lazy parent?

  1. I couldn’t possibly agree more. As a dad who was working 12 hour days, I saw my sons suffer from my work schedule. I was too tired to be a good parent when I got home and was at work when they woke up in the morning. It’s very difficult to draw the line between providing for a family and being there to have a family worth providing for.
    I ended up leaving my job so that I could be with my boys. I can always find a replacement job, I’ll never be able to replace my kids though.

    http://adadsweekendguidetoadventure.wordpress.com/

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  2. I totally agree! My wife and I have six kids and we definitely spend a lot of time making those conscience decisions about work, homelife, etc. But when it all boils down to it, we try our best to do what’s best to put balance in the kids life, as well as prepare them for the real world! Between exposing them to great life experiences, raising them to be good, respectful and productive people to just having a good time hanging out enjoy some quality time; like you said, raising children is THE ULTIMATE responsibility! And although, some “lazy parents” choose to vacation and take breaks from it; good parents learn to make it work and they do it no matter what, because its our children’s futures that are at stake here. Like you said, we have our times, but if we stay focused and keep the goal of happy, well adjusted people; we can definitely avoid be that lazy parent!

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