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Making Sense Of Our Biggest Priorities As Parents

We always mean well for our children. However, we sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that priority should be set on their material needs. You might have heard your own parents or other parents say something along the lines of, “do you know how hard I work so you could eat?” Perhaps you’re also guilty of taking on more work at the office and wearing yourself out so you can afford better things for your children.

parenting priorities

I was once like that. When my kids were little, I wanted them to have all the comfort I never had growing up. As a result, I worked long hours and spent less time with them. I thought that having more cash would eliminate our problems. It didn’t take long to learn how wrong I was.

Within a few months, I discovered that I would never have any work-life balance if I stayed on the same path. Even worse, my relationship with my wife and kids took a hit. Finally, after racking my brain and going through several parenting resources, it hit me that the problem was that my parenting priorities were askew.

Figuring Out What’s Important

In the quest to meet our families’ material needs, most of us lose sight of what’s important. Once I realized this, I knew that I had to make tough choices to get my priorities straight. Here’s how I figured it out:

  1. Essential tasks

  2. Essential tasks, such as taking kids to school or making dinner was done without exception. These tasks typically took up most of the day. Additionally, you need to increase your efficiency at these essential tasks, in order to free up more time for other things.

  3. Determining goals

  4. Writing down what I wanted to achieve helped me remain focused and motivated. It’s easy to get distracted if you have nothing, in particular, to work towards so take time to think about your goals and put them in writing.

    family life

  5. More family time

  6. After a lot of introspection, it hit me that I have to find ways to spend more time bonding with my children. I decided that no matter what, we would have breakfast together daily before I drove them to school. Furthermore, I make weekly calendar appointments to have one-on-one time with each of my kids, doing whatever they want.

  7. Be more present and engaged

  8. Whenever I hang out with my children, I make an effort to remove all distractions so I could immerse myself in the moment. This meant no checking my phone for emails, messages or notifications. My relationship with them greatly improved as a result.



Most of all, I learned that if I wanted a happy family, I had to set my priorities straight. In the rush to provide for my family, I’d forgotten that instead of more material items, my kids just needed me to be actively present in their lives. That way, I could give them all the love, support and guidance they needed to shore their self-esteem and help them become resilient, self-reliant adults. In the process, I would be an integral part of their lives and wouldn’t miss any precious moments.

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on:
Twitter | Linkedin | Google +

7 comments

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  • I can only imagine what it’s like to be a parent and to balance it all. Priorities right now without kids would be COMPLETELY different than with children. That quote in the picture is 100% true, we have to spend time with those we love.

  • Prioritizing our relationships is more difficult that someone from the outside looking in might imagine. Having family time together is equally difficult. However, I agree that it is vital in parenting.

  • I don’t have kids yet but when I do, I want to have a job that will allow me to focus on family. It’s going to be those memories that will get you through the hard times and stay with you when the job is gone.

  • We were in a serious car accident when my daughter was 10. It completely changed my priorities. Of course, she was always the most important thing in my life and spending time with her was important but other things had started to creep in the way. It gave me perspective on what really mattered and I change accordingly.

  • I try to explain this to my husband, but he really doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand why our children never come to him for anything and why they don’t tell him anything now that they are older. Even now, the kids are older, and he recognizes that he has always put his job first, he doesn’t change. I literally don’t even bother asking him to do anything with us any more.

  • I’m a grandparent now and this lesson is truly how I approach my time with them. We rarely buy a lot of things for Christmas or their birthdays and instead spend that money on doing things with them throughout the year. An extra trip to the zoo, an afternoon at the Science Center or water park. We have the best time and are making some really great memories. x

  • The quote at the beginning is just so right. As a parent, I definitely want to fall into the category of “I’m glad I did.” Time passes by very fast so we have to enjoy the precious moments!!

About Author

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on:
Twitter | Linkedin | Google +