Managing work-life balance as a parent comes with challenges, and with busy schedules for both parents and children, disruptions at the last minute can really take a toll on a family’s everyday routine. This is especially true when a child has to take a sick day from school due to illness during cold and flu season. It’s important to know you’re not alone, and with a little focus and positive reinforcement, you can help your kids be happy and healthy.
La La Anthony, producer, actress and author, understands the balancing act of parenting and being a working mother. Her busy schedule means proactively making time for her son, Kiyan, and helping him set his priorities in school, sports and life. She shares her top rules for parenting successfully to help guide other parents who are navigating the ups and downs of family life.
Rule 1: Set priorities
“The most important thing to remember as a parent is that your children should always come first,” says Anthony. “My schedule is hectic, and I’m often balancing several different projects at once, but my primary job title is ‘Mom.’ It’s so important to show your children that no matter how busy you are, they are the top priority.”
You can achieve this by having family dinner or setting a certain night of the week to bond over a fun activity together. If you’re travelling for work, set up video chat sessions to connect even when you’re apart.
Rule 2: Build trust
“All good parent-child relationships are grounded in trust, and open communication is extremely important in building trust,” says Anthony. “Make sure your child knows that they can depend on and come to you with any issues, questions or concerns, no matter how big or small.”
You can help build trust by showing empathy and understanding to your child and being vocal about your own mistakes. If you messed up at work, share that experience with them and talk through how you will fix the situation. When they see you’re not perfect, they feel more comfortable coming to you in times of need.
Rule 3: Focus on healthy habits
“Always prioritise your child’s health, especially during cold and flu season!” stresses Anthony. “It’s so important to me that Kiyan stays healthy and avoids getting sick so that he can be in school, play basketball and spend time with friends. To protect Kiyan and help reduce the spread of germs around the home, I make sure he washes his hands often, and we reinforce healthy behaviours at home and in the classroom.”
Rule 4: Be present
“Be as present as possible, and show your children that you’re there for them,” says Anthony. “For me, that means something as simple as helping Kiyan with his homework and catching up with him after school to hear about what he learned and what’s going on in his social life.”
Make time for these real connections by turning off your phone and other distracting devices so you can focus on each other and make the time to bond.
Rule 5: Boost confidence
“Help build your child’s confidence,” Anthony says. “Every kid should have the confidence to be whoever they want to be and do what they want to do, and it starts with parents. We need to be their biggest supporters and cheerleaders so that they feel empowered to achieve their goals in all aspects of life.”
Boosting confidence might mean trying new activities that are of interest to your child, even if they weren’t something you did as a kid. Watch them as they practice and play, and support them through the ups and downs of any performances, games or competitions. Being a parent today is one of the most rewarding experiences and these tips can help you be the best parent you can be.