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Parenting Is Always Challenging, Do We Need A License For Being A Parent?

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Parenting Is Always Challenging, Do We Need A License For Being A Parent?

We need a licence as a proof of qualification for driving, teaching, doctoring and many more things. We believe that these things require professional qualification because it’ll be dangerous to have unqualified people perform these jobs.

Parenting is not an easy job. How a child is raised shape the kind of person they become in future. But despite the fact that parents have a very great impact on their children, no license is needed for being a parent.

Even the basic needs for a child can be a great challenge for parents.

You must have heard about the many sleepless nights a parent has to get over when their baby wakes up in the middle of the night crying for food; or the many times a toddler just want to be held in the arms instead of walking in the street even though the parent is already exhausted after a whole day out playing with the child etc.

Children depend on their parents for pretty much everything ranging from basic survival needs to care and guidance. They need attention and parents simply can’t ignore the attention their children need.

Aside from the basic survival needs such as feeding and accommodation; responsible parents should be aware of the children’s development too.

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To teach children the right attitudes and values, parents have to be good role models.

Children tend to learn about morality from their family, so parents are responsible for being a role model and demonstrate the appropriate values to children. If a parent wants to teach their child about the importance of being honest, they should demonstrate honesty in front of them.

As children grow bigger and reach the stage of teenagers, it may be difficult for parents to communicate with them. Teens start to become aware of their individuality, and tend to question or even challenge their parents’ authority[1] but this can be a great chance for parents to demonstrate their communication skills and respect of individuality when they try to talk with their young boys or girls.

Parents should show that they’re willing to listen to their children and openly talk about their thoughts. It is hard, but patience is the key to maintaining a good parent and child relationship here. When children feel that they’re being respected, and that their parents are treating them and talking with them like an adult, they’re more willing to talk about their issues and will also show respect to their parents and other family members.

Parenting is always about striking a balance; and it’s never easy even for anyone who’s not a parent.

Children are not like machines; there isn’t a standard way to input data that automagically leads to desirable ‘outcomes’. Parents have to learn how to properly nurture their children by striking a balance about discipline and freedom; and very often, they have to learn on the go by observation and accumulating experiences.

A good parent is able to be strict about certain boundaries while at the same time allowing their child plenty of freedom to explore and learn on their own.[2] Setting boundaries which the child must stay within teaches them to respect others and to control themselves; on the other hand, giving a child enough room to develop themselves shows that the parent respects and trusts them.

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After all, learning through experience is crucial to building a person’s character.

Bad parenting will have tremendous consequences, for both the children and the society.

We can look at an extreme example of this: in 2011, an 11-year-old was involved in a gun-relating crime, and was arrested for that.

Columbia County Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan said,[3]

I think we attribute it to parents who need to pay more attention to their children. The problem almost always starts at home. Some role models set poor standards for behavior and are unaware of their children’s habits.

Another example is, in 2009, a 6-year-old crashed his family’s car in an attempt to drive himself to school after missing the bus because his mother was sleeping at home.[4] The boy allegedly “learned to drive” by playing the M-rated video game GTA.

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These are just a few of millions of unfortunate stories of parents who set their children wrong boundaries and do not care for their needs as they should have, and ruin their future as a result. And good parenting can prevent all these from happening.

Besides all the challenges in raising children, parents have to make sacrifices in life, especially their pleasures.

This is particularly true for a new parent.

Besides all the necessities such as diapers, day-care, and medicine that parents have to spend on the children, they have to change the way they live and make sacrifices to a certain extent.

A good parent has to be willing to give up a lot of good nights’ sleep, the times to hang out with friends and the quiet ‘me time’ to just rest and do nothing.

Parents probably can’t have the used-to-be romantic times with just the couple having a dinner date or going out for a movie any more because most of their time and energies are spent on being with the children, and they simply prefer resting than any kinds of dating activities. It’s also hard for them to just put off their lovely children for some times.

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However, going through the hardship of raising a child can also be an invaluable opportunity for the couple to understand themselves and each other better.

Parenting is not easy; but nothing worth it comes easy.

Now that you understand the many challenges that a parent faces, what do you think about the idea of having a parent’s license?

Even though there’s no licence for being a parent right now, parents should hold themselves accountable. Parenting should always be taken seriously and it’s good for parent-to-be to get better prepared before they welcome their children.

For instance, they can read books on parenting, join some parenting workshops and learn from other parents’ experiences. They can also look up to their own parents as role models, and reflect on their own childhood experiences.

But the lesson here is that, parenting is an art that can’t be underrated, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges of parenting.

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Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

More by this author

Wen Shan

Proud Philosophy grad. Based in HK.

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Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important (And How To Do So)

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Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important (And How To Do So)

In today’s chaotic world, having family time isn’t always easy. It can get pretty hard to coordinate schedules, especially if the family is large. Life demands that we work, attend school, nurture friendships, hobbies, etc. All of those things are extremely time-consuming and important—but so is spending time with your family.

Why is family time so important? Because we all need love and support, and a good, strong family can provide that regularly. For children, spending time with their family helps shape them into good, responsible adults, improve their mental health, and develop strong core values.

There are many positive effects of spending time with your family. My family and I, for instance (and this includes grandchildren as well), meet every Tuesday night for dinner and games. My older son and I take turns cooking. This gives all of us a chance to try some new recipes. After dinner, we play games. And without fail, they inspire competitiveness and laughter. As family night has evolved, the grandkids have invited their friends over as well, creating the need for more chairs but also expanding our circle of fun.

Aside from the obvious fun and games, there are other reasons why spending time with your family is paramount. In this article, I will provide you with multiple reasons why spending time with your family regularly is a win-win. And then, I will lay out some ways on how to do it.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important

Here are six reasons why it’s important to spend time with your family.

1. Provides the Opportunity to Bond

When you spend time together as a family—talking about your day, your highs, your lows—it fosters communication. As parents, it gives you the chance to listen to your children, to hear them out, to learn about what’s going on in their world. It also provides you with the opportunity to use life situations as teaching moments.

Before our Tuesday night dinner/game nights, my family used to see each other pretty regularly but not consistently, especially the grandkids. Our family night changed all that. Now, it’s guaranteed that the grandchildren, along with some of their friends, will be there. Not only do I get to find out what’s been happening in their lives, but they also get to know us better. It’s creating memories they can treasure forever, as well as modeling the Get-Together tradition for when they eventually have families of their own.

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“Spending time partaking in everyday family leisure activities has been associated with greater emotional bonding within families.”[1]

2. Teaches the Value of Family

Taking the time to be with your family lets your children know they are valued—that spending time together is a priority. I know that in today’s world, both parents are busy as both usually working. What better way to let your children know they are loved than by carving out time each week to spend with them?

According to Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D., “words like honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage are core to centuries of religious, philosophical, and family beliefs. Use them and others to express and reinforce your family values. Teach children the behaviors that flow from these principles. Use quotes to ignite meaningful dinner conversations and encourage kids to talk about these values.”[2]

3. Enhances Mental Well-Being

Spending that quality time together gives your children a safe platform in which to express themselves, ask questions about things that are bothering them, or talk about their day and things they’ve learned. I know that my 9-year old granddaughter can’t wait until it’s her turn to talk about her day. She usually goes on and on and has to be stopped to give everyone else a chance to talk about their goings-on.

“Research shows the quality of family relationships is more important than their size or composition. Whoever the family is made up of, they can build strong, positive relationships that promote wellbeing and support children and young people’s mental health.”[3]

For children, having the opportunity to seek advice from parents they trust—as well as being able to have a sounding board and help with problem-solving—is priceless. In addition, being able to voice their opinions and be heard—and to feel like what they have to say matters—is an esteem-builder. All of these can have a very impactful positive effect on their well-being.

4. Helps the Child Feel Loved

How do you think a child feels knowing their parents want to spend time with them—talking, sharing experiences, playing games, listening to them? It will make them feel as though they are important, and a child that feels important is happier and more apt to thrive. Setting aside chores or work to spend time with your children demonstrates that they’re essential—that they matter. What a gift to give your child!

“If a child has your undivided attention, it signals that they are loved and important to you. This can be further nurtured by experiencing joyful activities together, as it demonstrates that you want to spend time with your children over and above all of the daily demands.”[4]

5. Creates a Safe Environment

If you regularly spend time with your children, you are also creating an atmosphere of trust. The more trust they have, the more likely they are to share with you what’s going on in their world. As they get older, you’re going to want to know. Negative influences can show up at any time, but if you’ve always been there for your child, they are more apt to come to you and ask for your advice.

Spending time together generates familiarity and feelings of being supported. When a child feels safe and comfortable, they’re more likely to open up. This is one way to get to know your child and know what’s on their minds. Are they okay? Do they need your guidance? If so, how?

6. Reduces Stress

This is significant. We all suffer from stress at one point or another in our lives. Spending time with family helps alleviate that stress. It’s an opportunity to talk things out, get feedback, and maybe brainstorm for a solution to the problem that is causing the stress.

According to Brandy Drzymkowski, “During the holidays, your closest five people probably shifts to family and friends. You may even get to see loved ones who live far away. Good news! This can actually help lower your stress levels. Studies show ‘face-to-face interaction…counteracts the body’s defensive ‘fight-or-flight’ response.’ In other words, quality time spent with loved ones is nature’s stress reliever.”[5]

So, now that you know some of the benefits, what are some ideas for making family time happen?

How to Make Family Time Happen

Here are four things you can do to make family time happen and spend more time with them.

1. Family Dinners

This, as I said above, is a wonderful way to spend time together. While you’re having dinner, you have the chance to discuss things that are going on in your lives—the ups, the downs, and everywhere in between. It’s like having a buffer against life’s challenges.

Aside from that, eating dinner together has many additional benefits. Studies have shown that for kids who eat regularly with their families, there is less risk of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and depression.[6]

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“Our belief in the ‘magic’ of family dinners is grounded in research on the physical, mental and emotional benefits of regular family meals.” It further states, “We recommend combining food, fun and conversation at mealtimes because those three ingredients are the recipe for a warm, positive family dinner—the type of environment that makes these scientifically proven benefits possible.”[7]

According to Parenting NI, “children and adolescents who spend more time with their parents are less likely to get involved in risky behavior. According to studies done by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse via Arizona State University, teens who have infrequent family dinners are twice as likely to use tobacco, nearly twice as likely to use alcohol and one and a half times more likely to use marijuana.”[8]

As you can see, there are multiple benefits to spending time with each other routinely. You can’t go wrong with this family activity.

2.  Regular Movie Nights

This is another fun event, although, from personal experience, I have to caution that choosing a movie that everyone wants to see is not easy. So, give yourselves plenty of time so you don’t spend two hours searching for a movie, and then end up watching no movie at all because the night is practically over. Try and choose a movie before the day, if possible.

Afterward, open it up for discussion. Ask questions pertinent to the movie. What do you think of ABC? Should they have done that? Would you have done something differently? There are so many questions you can ask to spark a conversation and keep the night going.

3. Game Night

This is another occasion for great fun. If you have a competitive spirit, it makes it even more fun. There are numerous games out there—Balderdash, Pictionary, Apples to Apples, Charades, to name a few—that can create fun havoc. All I can say is, on game nights, don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s okay if you lose the game. The fun is in being together, laughing, debating, and having a good time.

In addition, “Playing board games is great for children for many reasons besides the obvious; it’s fun to play games! Age appropriate games can help children to think strategically, solve problems creatively, work on pattern recognition and build simple math skills. They also help children develop social skills such as following rules, taking turns, and graceful winning or losing. Additionally, a family game night provides an opportunity for children to bond with siblings, parents and family members as well as peers. It can promote tradition building and establish a fun routine.”[9]

So, go find your family a game and start having fun!

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4. Sharing a Hobby

If you and one of your kids like to do the same things, do it more often. For example, my oldest son and his teenage son go on long bike rides together on the weekends. Not only do they get to exercise, but they also get to talk and look at beautiful sceneries. They’ve also incorporated cooking into their routine. They plan the meal, shop, and prepare—activities that bring them closer together.

Sharing a hobby is a great way to bring family members together. It bonds people in amazing ways. According to Alison Ratner Mayer, LICSW, “One of the easiest and most important ways to build a child’s self-esteem is to spend time with them doing something not only that they enjoy but something that you also enjoy. There is a special magic that happens between a parent and a child when they share a mutually beloved activity. It sends the message to the child that their parents are having fun, true, honest, real fun, with them.”[10]

Final Thoughts

Spending time with the family is an investment. It is an investment in the happiness, well-being, and security of that system. It can also serve as a way to break out of the daily rut and the constant worldly demands, while at the same time, building a strong family unit.

Even though it isn’t always easy to find the time, finding the time is key to staying close and to providing and receiving love and support. There is no greater gift than the gift of time. That’s what we all seem to be missing nowadays. So, in giving that gift consistently, everyone feels loved and appreciated.

The family that takes the time to interact regularly is typically happy. They know they are part of a tribe, and that’s essential in today’s chaotic world. To know that there are people whom you can count on—people who will have your back in times of need—is invaluable.

Now, go and plan something plan with your family, if you haven’t already.

Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Pittsburgh Parent: Spending Time Together—Benefits of Family Time
[2] Roots of Action: Integrity: How Families Teach and Live Their Values
[3] Beyond Blue: Healthy Families
[4] Esperance Anglican Community School: The importance of family time
[5] Brandy Drzymkowski: Spending Time With Loved Ones Reduces Stress
[6] Harvard Graduate School of Education: Harvard EdCast: The Benefit of Family Mealtime
[7] The Family Dinner Project: BENEFITS OF FAMILY DINNERS
[8] Parenting NI: The Importance of Spending Time Together
[9] WNY Children: Family Game Night- The Benefits of Game Play
[10] Child Therapy Boston: The Benefits of Sharing a Hobby With Your Child

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