If you’re growing a business and a family at the same time, you know conflict is almost inevitable because both are hungry for your attention.
Often we can get some understanding from a spouse or significant other because adults know it takes time and sacrifice to build a company.
But what about our kids? How do we keep our company growing without making our kids resent it (and us) in the process?
Here are three ways I’ve seen work well. I hope they will be helpful to you.
1) Schedule time with your kids AWAY from work.
I know, this isn’t a revolutionary idea. Almost everyone knows kids NEED focused time with their parents in order to be healthy, happy and well-adjusted individuals.
Here’s the thing, though: maybe you know it, but are you doing it?
I don’t just mean “fitting them in” when you can, but are you actually putting them in your calendar as a VIP appointment and keeping it?
This one simple habit of literally scheduling intentional time with your kids can make a world of difference for your them, especially if you tell them you did it.
Let them know you are making them a priority because you want to spend time with them, and they will feel valued and loved.
2) Create space for your kids AT work.
I get it, kids require attention, and sometimes you just don’t have enough to go around. But when you create a way for your kids to be with you at work, it helps them feel like they get to be a part of your world.
More importantly, it signals to them that you want them to be a part of your world.
Maybe for you this looks like a special room they get to play in when they come, or a special day and time they get to help you with something.
Maybe it’s only a lunch date on-premises, or maybe you even let them spend time with a team member other than you.
Whatever the specifics look like in your case, the idea is the same.
Bring your kids into the “what” of your work and they’ll feel more connected to you.
3) Inspire your kids with the “why” behind your work.
Many people don’t think of their work in terms of a higher purpose. For them, it’s really just about the money.
Here’s the thing, though. Kids are not hardwired to care about profit and revenue. They are hardwired to care about people and relationships.
That means if you want your kids to value what you do and not resent how much time it takes to do it, you need to explain the WHY behind your work in ways that have value to them.
For example, kids can easily understand how doctors, nurses, firefighters, and teachers are helping people with what they do, and that’s something kids can get excited about.
But what about software engineers, insurance brokers or financial advisors? What about contractors, real estate professionals or project managers?
For some of these fields, finding the “deeper human need” (what I believe to be the foundation of all meaningful “WHY”s) they are meeting can be more tricky, but I promise you, it’s there.
With a little digging and perseverance, you can find the deeper human need you’re meeting, the purposeful WHY behind what you do.
Then, when you find and share it, you’ll have something both you and your kids can get excited about together.
Photo by Norbert Levajsics on Unsplash