To relegate, basically means to downgrade someone beneath you. Whether we'd like to admit it or not, we tend to relegate our children quite often. Think about it. When you're busy and they are trying to tell you a story, do you not wave them away and continue to finish what you were doing? When they attempt to add to your conversation with someone, do you not advise "shh now, adults are talking dear." Even in a nice manner -- we've all done it.
If you have been one to relegate your little ones on a regular basis. It's okay. You're not alone and there will be many more that come after you that will do the same. The key is to resolve this issue and focus on healthier communications. You don't disregard what your children have to say, you enjoy their company... you've just gotten into the rut of your day-to-day life. That's all. I did it, my mom did it and my grandmother too. None of us are strangers to this concept. Maybe have used different words to describe the action, but that's about the only difference.
So, what are some ways to resolve this problem? I had the same question and found no blogs to help get my answers. I dug deeper and found some helpful ways to strengthen your connection and communication with your littles. These can help avoid those dismissive situations and even make them more of a connecting experience.
Setting A Timer: Let your children know, we can play for 15 minutes, then I need to work for 15 minutes (or whatever time you're comfortable with). Have some toys or activities that are specifically the time when you're working. This will allow them to look forward to your time together. I’ve done both of these with my 4 with different levels of success.
Make A Day Just for Play: Our kids are on to something when they remind us, "All you do is work." My children have stated this a time or two when I am working on a blog or editing a YouTube Video. They're not wrong. I spend a lot of time on these things and there has to be time for play. So, take a day of the week (we chose Sunday) when you can spend the entire day getting in touch with your inner child. Break out those old board games or grab your bike out of the garage. The possibilities are endless!
Let Your Child(ren) Help You Work (If you're able): This would work better for stay-at-home moms or mothers who work remote jobs that do not require massive amounts of phone time. Allow your child to sit with you and type onto an old keyboard, have them make work calls for you on their portable play-phone or ask them to draw a client a photo. Having them able to interact with you when you're normally unable to be disturbed can give them connection they are yearning for, while still allowing you to get your work done.
Make An Arrangement: This can be done in many ways. In our household, my older children and I have the arrangement that I will spend my mornings working. (While they're in school) Any my afternoons with them. Now, of course there are times when there is unavoidable work to be done or the kids just feel like doing their own thing, but it works for us. You can arrange for every night at five to be your family cooking time, where everyone in the household gets together to create a family meal. This is exciting for the kids and makes one of you "jobs" more fun.
Parenting has been the most exciting and most rewarding job I have ever taken on. I cannot express the love and admiration I have for my little ones and for the person they have helped me become. But I am not without fault. If you're still reading this, neither are you. What matters is that we see and fully understand our faults and are willing to make the necessary changes to rectify them. After all, just because we're grown doesn't mean we're not still growing. Your children understand, even if you don't yet.