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Let’s face it, parenting is hard. No matter what age you have children, you are most likely at a point in life where you’d easily prefer watching TV after work rather than playing on the swing set and running around in circles. Children don’t have the pressures of life that we do – careers, bills to pay, etc. so they are naturally inclined to enjoy playing often. Furthermore, children also have the luxury of being able to sleep much more than we get to, which helps too.

Therefore, how can we meet them half way? How can we be good parents and interact with our children when all of our energy is spent living our own lives? Many people at this point call in the nanny, but fear not – it is possible to give your children what they need without driving yourself crazy. Below are a few pointers to help you out.

Encourage a balanced play time

Children are masters in the art of manipulation and will do anything to get their way. If you let them get away even once with playing when they should be otherwise doing their homework or helping around the house for example, you will find yourself with a whiny, obnoxious child who will pester you to keep breaking your rules.

On the other hand, if you set out specific times to play and specific times to work, your children will soon become adapted to this and even enjoy their free time more because it will be a treat to look forward to.

Channel their energy into something productive

Children are naturally energetic and get bored quickly, but they also have a large potential to learn and do so by nature. Rather than simply getting tired out by your children nagging you to do this or that, you can channel that passion for novelty to teach them something new and to give them something to do that adds value. This will not only help you out with the things you have to get done, but will also teach your children that applying themselves in certain ways will make a positive outcome. This may take time, but is definitely worth it in the long run.

Balance responsibilities

Parenting is difficult, and is definitely not meant to do alone. After all, that is one great reason why it takes two people to make a baby. Parenting is a shared responsibility, and when done properly, this can help manage stress for both parents/guardians.

Therefore, make sure your partner is living a balanced life alongside you. Help out around the house, offer to take the lead on caring for the kids a couple of nights a week, help out with homework, etc. When both parents are working together, it is possible to raise your children properly without as much stress.

Challenge yourself

While the bad attitudes of our children, a difficult wife or husband, a stressful job, etc. may all contribute to our overall fatigue with parenting, we must also realize that we are part of the issue as well. If we alter our perception from thinking of parenting as a chore and a leash to thinking of it as an honor and one of life’s true blessings, we will likely enjoy it much better.

Of course not all interactions with our children will be positive, but if we can motivate ourselves by the desire to be constructive and empowering influences in our childrens’ lives, we can be much better parents.

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