PARENTING WISELY

8 September 2020

Many parents may feel that taking time out is selfish, and hold a belief that their own needs come second to their children. However, with an increase in struggles with mental health issues, emotional needs as a parent need to be taken as seriously as any physical needs.

If you want to raise children who are not only healthy, but well-balanced, then emotional availability is key. Physical presence is also essential, but if you want your children to take care of their own mental health, it is necessary to show this by example. Children pay great attention to actions, not only words, and setting an example in this space can help to guide them.

As a parent, you will be able to parent more wisely if you look after your emotions, your emotional needs, and understanding what you can do to ‘fill your cup’.

If you take time to look after your own emotional energy, you will be able to parent more wisely by controlling your emotions better.

What activities make you happy and make you feel fulfilled? It is important to engage in things you enjoy and take some ‘me time’ – even if it’s only 10 minutes – and to engage in this activity fully. It can be challenging to do this, especially if you find yourself worrying about other tasks you ‘should’ be doing. However, if you can commit to this time you may find yourself feeling more positive and energised, and able to continue your day.

Mental health is vital for parents as without it you cannot be the quality parent you want to be. Taking time out to look after your emotions, your emotional energy, and maintaining your mental health is the furthest thing from being selfish. It is, in fact, one of the most loving things you can do for your family.

Here are some options for ‘me-time’ activities:

  • Work on your favourite hobby
  • Have a bubble bath
  • Do some yoga or exercise
  • Paint your nails or do a face mask
  • Read a book
  • Listen to some music
  • Spend some time gardening
  • Watch a television series you enjoy

You can have a look at our blog for some deep breathing tips and exercises

Read more self-care tips and ideas from our blog

Written by:

Andrea Radnitz, Occupational Therapist, Akeso Pietermaritzburg