A couple of years ago I attended a presentation from Parenting Expert and well-known author, Stephen Biddulph on “Raising Boys". My son, Trent was 11 at the time so I was interested to hear what Stephen had to say. In fact, so were the 800 other parents in the room!
The key point that I picked up on was that boys from the age of 6 - 14 really need ‘time’ with their dads. That is the most influential period in their lives when they bond with him. And the type of time they need is not all thrown into a ‘once a week’ or ‘month’ block or some exotic holiday once a year, they need to spend time with their sons on a regular basis. Otherwise how can you build a strong and stable relationship?
For the single mums reading this, don't despair. If you are estranged from your partner and bringing up your son is your responsibility, having a positive male role model in his life i. e. uncle, brother, grandfather, teacher, tennis coach, etc. will work as well.
What's happening in our society in the chase for the almighty dollar and in many instances the big ego; our relationships are breaking down. People are totally dominated by their work and have little energy to invest in themselves and their families.
Navigating Work and Family Life
In his article Navigating Work and Family Life, another leading Parenting Expert Michael Grose says: “… Research by Australian Institute of Family Studies fellow Virginia Lewis supported this view of family time. Lewis found that many children of working parents wanted to play more and interact informally with their parents. They didn’t mind if their parents worked reasonably long hours but they resented it if their parents came home stressed or grumpy. It seems that many parents need a wind-down time so they can switch from work mode to parent mode”.
Planning Personal Time
It's very interesting to note that every client I have coached … male or female, whether they are the business owner, director, executive or whatever title they hold, all have the same common goal. . . they want more time for their personal life.
They do not want to start work at 7.30 a. m. and return home at 7.00 p. m. They are committed and enjoy what they do, however they are not prepared to sacrifice their own relationships and wellbeing anymore. THE PRICE IS NOT WORTH IT!
You Can Turn Your Life Around
And do you know what the three key things you need to do to turn your life around? Learn to say ‘no', how to manage your time, and then take action.
That's right. Everyone tells you how busy and how little time they have, yet most people do nothing to learn the skills that will have a dramatic impact on their work and personal lives.
You have to plan time to get things done. Do you want to spend more time with your family? Do you know how to plan for it? How much time do you spend working? How much time do you invest in yourself to learn how to be more effective? Are you hoping that one day, work will ease off and then you can spend more time with your family? Do you really need a bigger house, nicer car or overseas holiday? Will that improve your relationships? Do you think that you'll (hopefully) stumble on the secrets to getting more time back in your life? If that's the way you live your life, your kids will probably be all grown up and not really need you.
Cats in the Cradle
For those of you old enough to remember, Harry Chapin recorded a song called “Cats in the Cradle". It was about a young boy whose Dad was always busy working. He never seemed to be available when his son wanted to be with him. Over the years this continued until the boy became an adult. By then his Dad had retired and had time on his hands, however his son had now become too busy to see his Dad. He too was working and had kids. The tables had turned. All of a sudden the Dad realised what he had done. He was too busy caught up in his work and missed out on his son growing up.
The Final Word
For those of you who have managed to maintain a good balance in your life, congratulations. No doubt you are happier, healthier and more fulfilled. For the rest of you who are unhappy, unhealthy and unfulfilled, then you need to take action if you are serious about wanting to make changes. Do it, because nothing changes if nothing changes!
And remember the definition of insanity – doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
Have a great week,
Lorraine Pirihi is Australia's Personal Productivity Specialist and Leading Life Coach. Her business The Office Organiser specialises in showing small business owners and managers, how to get organised at work so they can have a life! Lorraine is also a dynamic speaker and has produced many products including “How to Survive and Thrive at Work!" To subscribe to her free ezine visit http://www.office-organiser.com.au