Most kids love being alone at home. The prospect of unlimited hours of watching television and Internet surfing, eating junk food and not having to study for a few good hours is no less than sheer bliss. But what is it like for a child who is constantly left alone at home? With many parents being in professional fields that have late office timings, children now-a-days probably spend more time alone, than with them.
Even though many would like to believe that this affects a kid’s formative years, child psychologist Dr Dhananjay Ghambire puts all worries to rest, saying “Research has revealed that there is no difference in the academic or behavioural aptitude of a child who’s grown up in a family with only one parent working and a child who has grown up in a boarding school, or in a home with both parents working. If given proper attention and care, any child will prosper; irrespective of what his parents do or not do.”
Surprisingly, you will observe that more often than not, children bravely adapt to this lifestyle easily. Not only are they supportive of their parents’ career plans and their dreams, but also assist them in it. They even readily take care of their younger (and even older)
Twenty-three year old Prashansa Shahani’s parents worked fulltime when she was a kid. She recounts. “My brother and I had the most beautiful childhood. Since both my parents were involved in our family business, we were often home alone, but thanks to that we made so many friends. I took up sports and theatre, which also added an entire new dimension to my personality.”
Dr Ghambire also observes that the onus of making an extra effort in their children’s activities should shift from mothers (who’re expected to be supermoms balancing work with kids) to fathers. “Everyone expects mothers to play a very active role, but both parents must share the responsibility and spend equal time together.”
Vyomika Singh, a pilot in the Air Force and mother of a three-year old who’s just entered school, feels that juggling work with spending time with the kid can be stressful at times. “While growing up, kids like to be given special attention all the time. Sometimes when I’m busy with work at home, she feels left out and craves for attention from both my husband and me, which can sometimes make her fussy and demanding.”
However, she and her husband try to take out time for their kid. “We always divide our work in such a way that we get to spend maximum time with her. He especially takes charge whenever he can , drops her to school, gets her homework done etc,” she says.
Dr Gambhire says that it’s not the quantity but quality , that matters when it comes to spending time with your child. “Observe your child and try to assess if his behaviour is off or absurd. Be vigilant and hear them out , that’s what counts the most. You could be spending an entire day with your kid , but if you can’t figure out what’s worrying them, or if they are going wrong in anyway , then its just as good as spending no time at all.” concludes Dr Ghambire.
Tips for parents:
* Keep an eye on your child’s activities at home
* Bond with them over homework and household chores
* Plan weekend trips and getaways together
* Couples must divide their responsibilities of spending time with kids
* Don’t force kids into tuitions
* Appreciate their work and effort
* Make your children feel free when they are with you , so that they will open up and tell you whats bothering them.