Parents Must Care for Themselves

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Most of our parenting tips are revealing secrets, stating ideas, and proposing techniques to parent better. But, we are all more than a parent. We have needs of our own that must be met if we are to be effective at any job, especially parenting.

When we as adults and parents put children's needs first, we are following our God given responsibility. When parents neglect their own needs completely in order to parent, they are setting themselves up for failure.

Of course, during a parenting crisis, the situation must be dealt with using some immediacy. When the problem is an everyday one, select your own schedule to address it. Do not let a rebellious, angry teen force you to act upon something when you are too tired or stressed to do so. The problem will still be there the day after tomorrow if it needs to wait.

Don't let a kid make you feel guilty when you put your needs first. You deserve some time just for you. As a parent, it is very difficult to find time for yourself, when you do, use it. Everyone deserves enough time to rest, sleep, eat, dress, bathe, and have those moments necessary for relaxation, meditation, and fun. Your teens also deserve these things, but chances are they are already taking that time. These are life requirements.

If you allow a manipulative teen to rob you of life requirements, you will suffer and ultimately so will they. You cannot have patience and understanding without rest and refreshment. You need a well-deserved break from stress and crisis. Your body will give you that break if you do not take it yourself.

Taking care of your mental and physical health will also help you be ready for the emotional response to everyday challenges of parenting. It takes stamina and energy to raise kids. Illness will deplete both those things.

A parent must get exercise, good, wholesome food, and sleep in appropriate quantities. We need to learn to deal with stress in approved ways. Once you find the things that work for you, pass these on to your kids since they are also under a great amount of stress. Parents must have the time to pursue their own jobs, hobbies, interests, and social life. If your days completely revolve around your children and their problems, you will cheat yourself out of what is your right- a life.

Take care of yourself for your own sake and that of your kids.

Credits: Jo Ann Wentzel

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