A Quiz: Are You Involved Enough in Your Child's Life? - Page 2

By Dr. Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D., Author of "The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting"

Committing yourself to being fully involved in your child’s life doesn’t mean you can’t have a career. It will probably mean, though, that you will have to work harder to be involved than a parent who is not employed outside the home. The key to using day care and babysitters effectively is making sure that these aids permit you to be more involved when you are not at work, rather than falling into the trap of thinking that these care providers can substitute for your own commitment. Babysitting is not the same as parenting, and you should not expect it to be.

Being an involved parent takes time and is hard work, and it often means rethinking and rearranging your priorities. It frequently means sacrificing what you want to do for what your child needs you to do. It may mean skipping an unnecessary meeting at work or arranging an out-of-town business trip to be as brief as you can afford it to be. But it’s worth it. Your involvement in your child’s life will give him a legacy of psychological well-being that will last him his entire life.

If you talk to most parents with grown children, they will tell you that they feel as though their child’s childhood slipped by in a heartbeat. When your child is about to leave home as a young adult, you won’t say “I wish I had spent more time working.” You’ll wish you had been more involved when you had the chance.

Savor this stage of your child’s development. Get involved in your child’s life, and stay involved as your child grows up.

Get more tips on how to raise a happy, healthy child with The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting by Laurence Steinberg.

About the Author

Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D., is the Distinguished University Professor and Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology at Temple University. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting, and his work has also appeared in many publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


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