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Why do parents need to make time for themselves?

Dr. Lara Honos-Webb, PhD
Psychology Specialist

Parents need their own downtime and personal lives. If you are spending all of your free time running your children to their commitments, you’re not taking good care of yourself. Your marriage needs time for you and your spouse to have adult conversation. If you are single, your romantic life needs you to have energy to spend in connecting with other people. Don’t feel guilty for taking time away from your children to focus on your love life. Parents who are happily in love will find it easier to be better parents. Taking care of children, takes an enormous amount of energy, and the energy generated by a fulfilling connection to a romantic partner can be an important resource for you as a parent. If you spend all of your time taking care of your child, you will soon find yourself depleted, and you, your child, and your partner will suffer.

The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child's Problems into Strengths

More About this Book

The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child's Problems into Strengths

As a parent, you already know that your child has many gifts. What you may not know is that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) related symptoms—the very qualities that lead him or her...
Dr. Deborah R. Gilboa, MD
Family Practitioner

There are three great reasons why parents need to take some time for their own interests and pleasure!

  1. Lower your stress—be a better parent!
    When adults take time for ourselves we relax. Blood pressure is lowered (unless "time for yourself" means smoking or eating a whole lot of junk food!), we smile more, sleep better and have a more positive outlook. All of these factors combine to help us be more positive in the rest of our lives - at work, at home, and with those we love.
  2. Strengthen your family.
    Many parents avoid their own hobbies or taking time for themselves because they believe that there is no time, or their family needs them too much. Help your family value you more by valuing yourself. Your children will learn to show you respect when you show yourself that same respect, by pursuing an interest, hobby or activity that brings you pleasure. Your family members will have the opportunity to each take on one extra responsibility to free you up for a few hours a month while you do something that brings you joy. And they will find out how resilient they are when they step up and do a litte more.
  3. Raise your kids to be adults who take care of themselves.
    Our children will repeat our patterns. So create a healthy pattern in your home, where adults value their own passions and make a little time for those interests.  Do you want your kids to grow up and value themselves and their abilities? They will learn from you, by example!

When you take time for yourself, you're being a GREAT parent: you are teaching your children to grow up and find balance between caring for others and caring for themselves!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.