Shefali Tsabary, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Author, shares advice for parents on the importance of taking time each day to connect with yourself.
Parents often ask me how do I create my kid’s schedule. What should an optimum schedule look like. Parents are concerned about over scheduling their kids or under scheduling their kids. Parents who ask that question often begin at the wrong place. They’re more concerned about activities and how many activities a child should do. When we enter the parenting journey focused on activities and external manifestations of behavior, we’re going to set our child away from which is they are. Instead what I challenge parents to do is enter the awareness that the first thing a child needs, one of the primary conditions a child needs to try is to have enough space, elastic space for being. What does that mean? There should be enough space in a day where a child can connect to self, to inner spirit and to other, to family. When there is enough room for that then we can add on the icing of activities, or technology or outings or entertainment. The first order of business needs to be how much time a child has to just be. And because of pressures of society, this time has become more and more attenuated and that’s why we are seeing the manifestations of more mental health disorders than ever before. Its because we’ve lost the time and the day to reflect, to be with the self and be with the other. The parent can only do that when they’re own focus is on the importance of this. If the child, if the parent is only obsessed with activities then that’s how the child is going to live their life. If the parent understands the deep value for inner reflection and inner connectivity and connecting with family, then the parent will make that room just through conscious effort and intention.