It’s said that the best way to show someone you love them is to spend time with them. You wish you could spend every day with your child, but your work schedule doesn’t make that possible. Fortunately, there are ways you can stay in touch with your child even when you need to work full-time.
1. Maximize Your Time Off
While you might not be able to take your child on daily outings, you can make use of evenings, weekends, and time off. Plan a special activity each week that you can do one-on-one with your child.
When you have a new baby, use as much maternity or paternity leave time as you’re allowed to take. You can use this time off to bond with your new baby and spend time with your older children. Plus, many workers let their vacation days go unused. You could use these vacation days to spend time with your children, even if you decide to stay at home.
2. Give Your Child a Basic Cell Phone
If you feel that your child is old enough and responsible enough to take care of a cell phone, buying one may be a good idea. Your child can get a hold of you if he or she needs a ride from school or daycare. If you’re going to be late coming home, you can give your child a quick call.
There are several cell phone options catered to first-time phone users. With a pay-as-you-go phone plan, you pay only for the calls your child makes. It’s a good choice if your child is using his or her phone only to contact you.
Children under 12 probably don’t need a smartphone—a basic cell phone will do. Most cell phone carriers allow you to use parental controls to monitor your child’s phone use.
3. Send Gifts and Notes
Your child might miss you during the long days at school or daycare. Let your child know you’re thinking of him or her by leaving little notes or gifts in his or her backpack or lunch box. Your child will love discovering a new special note every day.
4. Take Your Child to Work
Many employers participate in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, on the fourth Thursday in April. If yours doesn’t, ask your supervisor whether you can bring your child with you some day. Your son or daughter can see what your office looks like, meet your co-workers, and find out what you do. Knowing where you are every day might help him or her feel more connected to you.
5. Develop a Relationship with Your Child’s Teacher
If you want to know exactly how your child’s doing when you’re not around, ask your child’s teacher. The teacher can let you know about any struggles your child is having. He or she can partner with you to find a solution.
6. Choose a Daycare Near Your Work
This will give you the opportunity to visit your child if he or she gets sick or if there is another emergency. Choose a daycare, preschool, or after-school program with an open-door policy. That way, you can visit your child at any time during the day. You could even drop by during your lunch hour and participate in an activity with your child.
Working full-time can be difficult for both you and your child. By following these steps, you can maintain a good relationship with your child. Your child will know that you’re always there when he or she needs you.
If you’re looking for a family-focused preschool in the Seattle area, call Kid’s Country to schedule a tour. We have 10 locations, so we likely have one near your work.