Most of the time, a child would prefer one parent over the other. This is normal and is a natural thing for kids and is sometimes not a source of worry to the parents. But what makes parents worry is when a child prefers yaya more than them. This doesn’t only mean hired help, it could also include grandparents or other relatives.
With the busy and hectic schedules parents have nowadays, it is sometimes necessary to get help taking care of the kids. This could mean getting friends or family to watch over the kids. As well as asking the grandparents to look after them while you are off to work. It could also include hiring a nanny or a day-care provider.
Having the kids prefer someone else over the parents maybe uncomfortable. But, this could be a benefit rather than a problem. It should be viewed as having more people loving and guiding the kids.
Most of the time, people will say spending time with the kid would help reconnect when the child prefers yaya. They argue that when parents spend time with the kids, everyone will feel connected and happy. Sadly, this isn’t always the case.
Parenting and work balance
There are a lot of parents that spends all their time with the children but are emotionally distant, discontent and poorly attached. Sometimes, the parent maybe experiencing depression, anxiety or boredom. The thing is, the child will only understand this as the parent not wanting to be there.
These are the kind of parents that are better parents when they are working. They become kinder and more compassionate to the children and to themselves when they are working. They don’t find work-life balance, but thrive when they think they are doing work that matters.
This is because one’s education, passion and desire to work doesn’t simply go away when you have a child. All this means is staying home more isn’t the answer in reconnecting with the kids.
Reconnecting with the kids
So much about being a parent can be found in the details of everyday life.
This includes meal preparation, getting dressed, singing silly songs, walking to car or school, drop-off and pickup routines, snacks, park visits, books, snuggles, and watching a show or two. Everyday life is what builds lasting memories, stories and families. Most of the time, these are the routines that are shared with the yaya and not the parent.
According to the certified parent coach, Meghan Leahly, “You cannot have it both ways. You cannot want a connection but never physically be there.”
She also shared a few ways you can increase the connection with the kids:
1. Discuss your priorities with your spouse
When parents get lost in the routine that works, it is sometimes too late that the kids have grown up. Routines need to change in order to build the connection with the kids.
Sit together and discuss how you want to live and being parents to the kids. Clarify things for both the now and the tomorrow.
2. Work together to see the kids more
If spending more time with the kids is one of the priorities, work together to make it happen. It may be hard due to work realities, but it also means having the whole family together more.
Also, consider the little times you could spend together, but are wasted. This includes mornings which are prime time for connection and fun in many families. Use 20 minutes every morning to check in, have a little meeting, laugh and simply be together.
3. Talk to the nanny
Let the nanny know of your intentions to spend more time with the kids. Let her know of the changes in routine and schedules and maybe ask her for some ideas for consideration. Also, you could talk about the interests of your child that could be icebreakers to your child’s life.
4. Weekends as family time
Set your Saturdays as the day you accompany the kids in their activities such as swimming lessons or soccer games. Sundays could be the one where you work together to make pancakes.
As much as possible, let the house be yours with no nanny in sight. It doesn’t have to be fancy as long as it’s quality time with the child.
5. Be there even when you’re not there
Any action that increases simple togetherness results in memories and connection. You can read stories with the help of memo apps. You can also leave notes for them to find. FaceTime also works wonders as well as surprising them in day-care or going home for lunch or a spontaneous trip.
6. Be true to your words
Avoid making promises you cannot keep. It is better that you don’t tell them you’ll pick them up from school and you do, instead than tell them you’ll do but fail to make it. The pain and disappointment a child feels when a promise has been broken could make them take a step back from connecting with you.
Keep talking to your spouse and discuss the connection issue. It may not be easy or perfect but it would be worth it.
Source: Washington Post
Also read: 10 things your child’s yaya wants to tell you