In my parent education classes and workshops one of the most important lessons I teach parents is to take care of themselves. When are we worst with our children and spouse? You guessed it, when we are tired, stressed, have places to be, deadlines to meet, dinner to cook, and phone calls to make. When I’m upset with my husband I start issuing orders at my children like a drill sergeant! Many women have been raised to take care of everyone but themselves and have a hard time telling anyone NO! Men, too, can forget about themselves as they become wrapped up in supporting the family.
Have you ever thought what message you are sending your children? Are you modeling that it is important to take care of yourself? We want our children to take care of themselves and not feel like they have to do everything anyone asks them to do. Are they learning that from you?
Furthermore, could they be learning not to care for you because you don’t care for you? Compare this to the oxygen mask in an airplane. Who does the flight attendant say to put it on first? YOU! If you are not well and able, you can’t take care of others.
So here is my challenge for you. Take 30 minutes for yourself at least four times each week. Read a book, take a bubble bath, go to the gym, eat lunch with a friend, hug a tree, or let your imagination go wild! This is not for when you have spare time or can get around to it. Put it in your datebook, mark you calendar, tell your family, and follow through! Model taking care of yourself and show your children how to take care of themselves. They’ll love you for it!
Peace Begins At Home!
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