Shiftworking Parents: How to Stay Connected to Your Kids
It is hard enough for parents who work 9 to 5 to stay connected with their kids. Imagine working the 3 pm to 11 pm or 7 pm to 7 am shift. For many parents, it means missing sporting events, parent-teacher conferences, and family activities, not to mention dinnertime and bedtime.
The good news is that many families make it work. It is all a matter of maintaining a positive outlook, says Janie O'Connor, a specialist in shiftwork education.
Making it work involves three things:
- Accepting that you and/or your spouse work a nontraditional schedule
- Communicating that to your children
- Working within that framework to recognize and take advantage of the opportunities that nontraditional schedules offer
That may mean eating birthday cake for breakfast or celebrating Thanksgiving on a Tuesday, but valuing family time, whenever it happens, will relieve a lot of shiftwork-related stress.
Last reviewedDecember 2011by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.