What Does Being an Involved Parent Mean to You?

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article in a parenting magazine that troubled me. The title of the article was, “How to be an Involved Parent.”

The writer described how she spent countless hours driving her kids to events, lessons, and activities. She said that she spent every waking hour doting on her kids. She admitted that it was tiring and she had little time care for herself or to do anything else.

She goes on to write:

“If I have to cancel a date night with my husband to take my child to a birthday party, I’ll do it because that’s what being an involved parent is about. Right?”

I’m not sure that spending every waking moment tending to your kids and sacrificing your relationship with your spouse is the best way to be an involved parent. I’ll agree that parenting requires some sacrifices. My wife and I have changed our plans in order to accommodate our children, but we don’t make it a habit.

Nurturing your marriage is just as important as nurturing your children. I have seen many “involved parents” become divorced parents because they were unable to relate to each other after the kids left home.

I’ve also seen many single parents become depressed after the kids left home because they never bothered to meet their own needs or develop interests outside of their children.

Worst of all, I’ve seen teenagers break their parents’ hearts because of their natural desire to break free from their parents and become independent young adults.

I can understand the desire to pour yourself into your kids. Many of us grew up in households where we received very little parental involvement. But I think the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction.

It is possible to be involved in our children’s lives without losing ourselves in the process. In order to be involved parents that our children need, we have take some time away from them to recharge and nurture ourselves.

What are your thoughts on this topic? What does being an involved parent mean to you?

Stay Strong,

About the author

Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at fjgoodall@mochadad.com or on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mochadad