A recent report by Gertrude’s Children Hospital that four out of 10 children may be suffering from mental illness is quite worrisome. It ought to make all of us restless.
There are several other studies from a wide section of experts that point out that the lifestyle of parents is the greatest contributing factor to children's mental health.
Apparently, majority of today’s parents work in a very busy and demanding environment either in their own businesses or in other’s businesses. This leaves house managers or house helps mostly in charge of children's welfare including initiation to growth and development.
Suffice to say most of those house managers have various problems as a result of their own upbringing, lack of education and societal love as well as deprivation of a myriad of basic needs.
There is no silver bullet to the crisis faced by children growing up in today’s society but intentional parental involvement and guidance may be the closest thing to it.
Whenever there is intense demand to meet the social needs and attention of the children and to meet deadlines and targets of business or job, the latter usually prevails. The justification is ‘we are busy working for children.’
Balancing between business and children must be planned intentionally for your ultimate success.
It is important to know that job and business are temporal but your family and especially your children will be part of you forever. You can easily change your job or business but not your family.
When you lose your children you lose your business, your job and everything. But if you lose promotion or growth targets because you were busy attending to your children, you have a chance of turning it around in future.
You may not accumulate much like your competing peers but the joy that comes from having steered your children to success will give you ultimate peace and satisfaction.
As American missionary Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose”.
Most old people today are suffering psychologically because of children they lost while chasing careers and business success that they could not keep.
Balancing between your job and your family requires sacrifices and intentional planning. You need to priotise, set apart time and resources for your family just as you do when planning for your business or setting and pursuing career goals.
Fortunately, your children will not be children forever. Very soon they will be adults and they will place less demand on your time and care.
Soon you will have all the time you need for yourself and your spouse. Today you have a choice of how that time will be. It can be a time to bask in glory and happiness of having performed your parental roles well or time to regret having sacrificed your children at the altar of career and material success.
If you can borrow money and forgo many things to make your business grow, then you must be prepared to do even more for your children who matter more.
Mr Kiunga is a business trainer and the author of The Art of Entrepreneurship: Strategies to Succeed in a Competitive Market. [email protected]