Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Is too much time with your children a bad thing?

As working parents we all try our very best to spend as much time with our children as possible. With today's demanding work schedule (especially if you are an agent like me!) this can be an extremely challenging problem. But work is not the only consideration. Have you stopped to think that time alone for you is just as important as time with your children?

The truth is that everyone needs some time for themselves regardless of what other obligations they might need to juggle on a daily basis. One problem that many parents face today is the feeling of guilt they may feel whenever they try to do something without the kiddies. If your children are not accustomed to spending time with other adults (such as a babysitter or nanny) than you are very familiar with that certain look of abandonment you see in their eyes when you try to have that rare night out. One thing to keep in mind is that spending some time with other people is healthy for your children and being too dependent on you is not.

We all want our children to be "well adjusted" adults some day and allowing them the opportunity to develop strong bonds with others is the first step towards this goal. Children that are "sheltered" and not exposed to others can become much too dependent on their parents (or parent) and may have problems relating with others as adults. Like anything else in life, the more we are exposed to something the more comfortable we will become with it. 

A recent study revealed something that I found quite amazing. Children that have a relationship with both their mother and father had much higher IQ's than children without a father in their life. In fact, researchers were able to tell the 2 groups of people apart by simply testing them when they were in their 20's! So why is this the case? Well, researchers are not sure how the IQ of an individual can be affected by this type of circumstance but I suspect it has a lot to do with a child being exposed to both the male and female point of view. We all understand that men and women sometimes have a different way of looking at things and a child that is exposed to both is able to learn more than a child that does not have the benefit of both influences. 

So now that we understand that time away from parents as well as having both a mother and a father figure in their life is best for our little ones, what's best for us? Everyone needs a break from time to time and there is nothing wrong with getting away from the daily routine that we are all accustomed to. It's quite healthy to step away from our responsibilities for a while and enjoy the freedom of not caring for someone else. There is no reason to feel guilty and in fact we can often gain a fresh perspective when we return to our normal duties as a parent. Another benefit to time away is the fact that you actually miss them and it's great when you return home!

Spending too much time with anyone (or anything), even our own children, can lead to feelings of resentment. If you've ever spent too much time at work for an extended period of time you know exactly what I'm talking about. You might begin to feel angry at your boss or coworkers because, as the old saying goes, "Familiarity breeds contempt". It's true. Too much of even a good thing is not good at all and this applies even to those people we love the most.

If you want to actually improve your relationship with loved ones than you must take some time away from them. Everyone deserves a little "me time" and in the end you will learn to cherish your special relationships more than ever before and others will do the same.

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