I attended a program organised by the Lagos Business School, sometime last month. (shoot me for not posting immediately, thanks to procastination). The seats for the conference were hot cake, as it was for the working elite, but I was fortunate to get a seat, thanks to my sister that asked me to tyke her place.
The conference was about how technology could transform business, and can serve as a change tool in the family, and aid in the work life balance cycle.I also got to know that that most organisations are inflexible in keeping their promises of giving employees the freedom to choose flexible work hours for themselves. In all of these, little emphasis was placed on those at the recieving end, ie the children. I had a question I wanted to ask the facililators especially Mrs Adesua Onyekwe of TW MAGAZINE (She was pretty and stylish, with her red tinted hair).
"How do help young people whose parents are so choked up with work, that they do not have time for them?" .
Why I wanted to ask this was because, these young people wouldnt attend this event. Someone mentioned, about how some parents forget their children in school, and the poor children stay in school till aboput 7pm, 8pm waiting for their parents to come pick them. I wasn't suprised, because I was once in this situation. My mom would forget me in school, till 6pm, then i would be left with no other option than the start trekking home, from abuloma in port harcourt to woji. If you live in Rivers state, you would know that this is about 11 kilometers. There was this day, she completely forgot, and remebered some minutes to dinner, when she noticed the TV wasnt on, and I wasnt hiding under the table to watch super story.. The good part of the story was I never got kidnapped, and somehow, I knew my way round ph city. My Dad worked in Lagos.
Back to the conference, they didnt talk about how children and youths could balance the absence of their parents in their lives (maybe they assumed we wouldnt be there, but somehow, we the youths are everywhere). Times have changed, we now have twitter, youtube, facebook, instagram, etc. The average 13 year old nigerian kid has a mobile phone, these kids would watch and read all sorts when their parents are not around, and pretend to be innocent kids when Dad and Mom are in. Their parents are not there to listen to them, hence they grow on their own. Soon you begin to notice that your kids are not as close to you as they were. They do not tell you stuffs, they become rebellious, they even dislike you. When you realise this, it weould be to late to get close to them, they would have grown, and you as a parent would miss the years they grew and you never had that father-son-daughter realtionship you alwyas wanted to have. Your relationships with these kids would be strained. They would be so used to seeing you less often that the euphoria of "Daddy is back" would be lost. Then you begin to wonder, "why don't this kids confide in me anymore", or "Why havent I met any of their friends". No matter how much flexible working hours or how much time you get to spend at home, later in life, once you have lost upon these kids, you have lost it. They would have grown up, and you would be trying to grow into them.
Where do your kids stand in your work life balance?
Ps: I have been down with malaria for a week now, I hope it gets better.
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