I have a confession to make….I’ve turned into a Couch Parent. Granted, I’m in my seventh month of pregnancy, VERY tired from working and a toddler who refuses to nap, and frequently have contractions and nerve pain that I have no choice but to sit through….but still. I just never in a million years thought I’d become a couch parent. What is a couch parent?
In general, you may consider yourself a couch parent if:
- You fail to guide or discipline your child simply because it requires you to get off of the couch.
- If you find yourself getting annoyed with a child in your care because tending to them requires you to get off of the computer/phone/pause the TV show/couch…I mean, how dare they require your help with something? Can’t they see that you are ‘busy?’
- If you don’t accept any invitation to play with your child if it cannot be done from sitting down on the couch.
- If your child spends most of the day much a satellite orbiting around his/her world (you) as you sit on the couch.
- If you actually expect your child to spend most of the day orbiting around your comfy place on the couch.
- Finally, if you frequently rush through childcare duties so that you can get back to your couch/computer/TV show, then you may consider yourself a couch parent.
Does any of this sound familiar? Does this sit OK with you, or is there a tiny little voice in your head urging you to consider making some changes?
I certainly do not mean to pass any judgement or cause any guilt. There is enough of that in the parenting world and I do not wish to add to it. The point is simply that we can do better. Our children deserve more than couch parenting from us. These little ones are absolute blessings entrusted to our care, and we brought them into our world to love and guide them as they grow up before our very eyes.
My challenge for you is to get off of the couch and interact with your child. Look online for age-appropriate activities and actually initiate the games with them. Roll a ball…or go outside with them and play kick ball with them. Take them to a park. While at the park, leave your phone in the car. The world will survive with you being offline for 20 minutes, I promise. Watch your child play and tell them good job, just give them praise and encouragement. Sit down and color with them, or play dolls/cars on the floor. These kinds of activities should not be the exception, it should be the rule.
If you don’t trust yourself to remain engaged with them, and you are a stay-at-home parent, send the TV remote and iPad with your husband to work. If not, place your computer, remotes, iPad, and phone in the most inconvenient location possible and leave it there after checking it during the day. Or do like we did and cancel cable all together. You can use the money saved from canceling cable on family outings, games of the non-electrical variety, toward college funds, paying off debt, or simply to help cushion the family nest egg. The bottom line is that couch parents CAN do better for our little ones and families. They need us to do this for them, and our love for them will help make this possible. 🙂