Nathan Wallis – Tips for working parents: Maximising quality one on one time with your child
Raising a child when you’re working can be extremely challenging, especially as you struggle to make quality time for kids. Nathan Wallis shares some parenting tips for working parents on resolving this.
When you’re juggling work and raising children, trying to fit all your responsibilities into each week can become pretty hectic. Days can pass by in the blink of an eye, and it can be difficult to know how to best manage and maximise quality time with your kid.
Luckily it’s not about having endless amounts of time – it’s how you spend the time you do have that truly matters. Even as a working parent, there are ways to fill these available moments that will lead to better developmental outcomes and help build resilience.
As your child gets older, their needs change and so do the things that benefit them the most.
Choosing the right childcare
If you’re considering childcare, look for a centre that offers primary care - where primarily one person is going to be responsible for your child’s needs – from changing their nappy to putting them to sleep. Essentially, your child needs to develop a strong relationship with individuals.
What is love bombing?
Especially in the early years, a fair amount of parenting consists of correcting the child or telling them what they’re supposed to do. So, when you’re wanting to spend quality time your kids, connect with them in a fun and engaging manner.
For example, love bombing is a time-effective exercise that all working parents should implement into their routine. Simply set aside 10 minutes every week, where you let your child lead and do anything they want you to do. It’s important this period is scheduled at the same time every week, so your child can predict when it’s going to happen. This short, reoccurring exercise can be beneficial for connecting and building a strong relationship between parent and child.
Prioritise the key moments
Regardless of what age your child is, they’ll always need your support for the things they find tough, so be there for those key moments. Whether it’s a dentist appointment they’re scared of or they’re needing some comfort following a period of grief - it’s important you prioritise making time for your child in the moments that they need you. Being there for those key times will increase your child’s resilience and be remembered for years to come.
Be fully present
It’s also important to ensure there are times in the day where you’re completely present with your child. Being physically present while multitasking - listening to the radio, peeling the potatoes or reading through emails – isn’t enough. Being fully present means being emotionally, spiritually and physically present for your child. At the end of every day, put aside mobile phones and electronic devices for an hour. Gather as a family and make the time to listen and interact with each other. Simply sitting down and eating a meal together (without any distractions) can strengthen relationships and enhance your family dynamics.
About Nathan Wallis:
Nathan Wallis is a Neuroscience Educator, nib health insurance parenting expert and regular media commentator. He hosts sold-out learning events for parents up and down the country (and abroad), talking to different stages of child development – including the first 1000 days - and how parents can be supporting their children in order to achieve the best possible outcomes.
About nib Health Insurance:
nib Health Insurance provides cover for even the littlest Kiwis. Having cover in place early, before any conditions are developed, means kids will be covered for grommets, adenoids and tonsil removal if the need arises. If something more serious were to happen, nib’s cover is designed to help you skip the waiting lists in the public healthcare system and get private specialist and hospital treatment for your child, faster. Private Hospital cover starts from under $4 per week for children under 20, and from under $15 per week for adults*. Cover is available online, with no medical questions asked. Click here to compare cover options for your family and get a quote.
*prices based on one child under 21 and one 26 year old female non-smoker, both on a standard private hospital cover with a $500 annual excess and a 4% direct debt discount applied.