This is a busy time of year as kids head back to school and once again become involved in all of their school-related activities. Most parents with school-age children will soon begin filling their calendars with this event and that activity, often coordinating between each other “who is doing what when.” It is wonderful that parents express interest in and support their children this way, but by becoming completely absorbed in their children’s activities, it can become easy for parents to lose themselves and not take care of themselves properly. For your sake—and that of your children!—please remember to invest some time and energy into Self.
By taking care of Self, you are taking pressure off your child to do that for you. A parent who becomes singularly focused on their child sends a subtle message to that child that s/he is responsible for the parent’s well-being. Supporting and encouraging a child, while well intended, can become detrimental if the child begins to see that s/he is the center of Mom’s or Dad’s universe. It can be a fine line: Letting the child know that they are valued and important, yes; conveying the message that parents’ well-being is dependent on how well the child is doing, no.
Remember, also, that you are the most powerful and influential model for your child. One of the gifts that you can pass on to your child is showing them how to take care of themselves. You hope that your child will grow up to be an emotionally and psychologically well-adjusted adult. Let them see that their parents know how to do that.
Allie Miller, Executive Director