Tag Archives: Me-Time

PLAN WEEKEND FREE TIME

The best parenting advice? This week it was “Let Your Kids Be Free.” The weekend cometh; time to  plan Just Be Free Time for you and your kids.

Doug Savage cartoon to illustrate a Parents Are People Too and Emotional Fitness Training blog post

Stay strong

Part of emotional fitness, what others call  Emotional Intelligence and something you want your kids to develop, comes from thinking about what matters.  That starts with time to just be, to play or laugh if that is what you want, but also just to be.  Hopefully, that means watching the stars or sitting quietly in a tree you’ve climbed and letting your thoughts come and go.
Maybe you and your kids don’t live where they can be free in the outside world. But encouraging quiet time alone to be and to think or not to think, enriches and builds emotional strength.
Remember to share and care. Small acts, pushing a like button for example, matter and make a difference in someone’s life.
Thank you for all you do.
Katherine
PS. A big Thank you to Doug Savage for letting me share his cartoons.  His sharing and caring, the laughs he sends out into the universe make a big difference in many lives.
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LET YOUR KIDS BE

With some time off for most of us, I wanted to remind you to take me-time, laugh and play time, and alone time for you and for your kids. Ilene Dillon said it best.

Laugh and reblog on www.parents-are-people-too.com

Hi Ho, Hi Ho! It’s Off To Play We Go!

By: Ilene Dillon

Raising my children in the 70′s and early 80′s, it was possible in the area where we lived for them to do play on their own. My daughter rode her pony in the woods (starting at age 10), my son rode his bike (via the back streets, which I taught him how to do) to the next town over to his school when he was in second grade. Much like the experiences I had on my grandparent’s farm when I was growing up, they had the opportunity to meet the world without the watchful or protective eye of an adult on them. This happens more when you are a single parent (which I was), yet I made a point of helping them to have solitary time away from me whenever I could.

Children NEED this type of time in order to connect with their deeper self. To me, it’s a tragedy that most children, today, never have such an opportunity. When kids can spend time alone, they develop the ability, little by little, to care for themselves, develop confidence, make decisions and grow to respect their own decisions. Allowing our children to venture into the neighborhood is not so much about “age” as it is about:

  • what kind of neighborhood we’re in
  • what kind of relationship we have with others in our neighborhood
  • how much decision-making responsibility we have allowed to our child previously
  • whether there are trustworthy older children to watch out for the younger ones
  • if our child wants to venture out alone.

This will be different ages for different children. Parents are best to assess these different factors, and then check in with their own gut. My children, at the age of 13, had grown to the point that they did some international travel on their own. My daughter spent a week in London, England, doing a homestay with a family with children her age. My son traveled for a weekend to Kangaroo Island (from Adelaide) Australia on an organized trip, while I taught a workshop in Adelaide. They both did beautifully. They came back to me feeling strong and empowered.

Thirteen is one of the two ages (4 and 13) during which children explore “power.” It was perfect for them. Start small, allow bigger as your trust–and theirs–develops. I always told my children I would trust them to the point they demonstrated to me they could not handle it. Then, we would go back to an earlier level of freedom, and they could work their way up once again!

Yesterday, my son sent me a video of my granddaughters, ages 7 and 5, touring me through their new Forest Service cabin in the Sierra mountains. “Grammy,” said the older girl, “the best thing about this place is that we can go out into the trees and be alone!” Her father commented that it was a great thing not to have a parent around every single second. She was grinning at the thought.

About The Author

Ilene L. Dillon, M.S.W., M.F.T., and L.C.S.W. If raising a child “takes a village,” how many light workers does it take to create global human transformation? Ilene Dillon, M.S.W., is such a worker, dedicating herself for over 40 years as a Transpersonal Psychotherapist and Coach, intent on helping people–and our world–to achieve transformation.

Parents Are People Too Thoughts

I was lucky enough to grow up in a small town were I was free to roam.  My kids were also raised in a similar town.  So agree with Ilene that children of today have lost something.
One suggestion to provide at least a bit of alone time is to have quiet and alone  home time.  I recently throw a sheet over our dining room table and had my three year old grandson take some private and alone time in his “Cave.”  He loved it. Didn’t want to come out.

Stay strong

Make it a goal for the coming  week-end to figure out somewhere your family can go and safely take some alone-time. Remember to share and care. Thank you for all you do and thank Ilene for her wise thoughts.
Katherine

NOW OR THEN?

TOPIC: NOW IS ALL YOU HAVE

Fiddler on the Roof is my favorite musicals. Partly because I am a Jew. But mostly because the story is a universal one about life struggles, parenting struggles, the need for tolerance and to keep being who you are while trying to make the world a better place for all.

Sun rise or sun set. The days go quickly. Enjoy the now.

The lyrics of this song form today’s topic.

 
Is this the little boy I carried
Is this the little boy I played
I don’t remember growing older
When did they
When did she get to be a beauty
When did he grow to be so tall
Wasn’t it yesterday when they were small
Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
Swiftly go the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze
Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following an other
Laden with happiness and tears.

David and I have given our kids much to complain about–try 300 plus brothers or sisters for a starter. Nevertheless, we have been there for our boys , and David has been a hands on ever loving father.  In fact we left our careers mid-stream so both of us could be hands-on parents.

Any parent who thinks not being there is okay, is dead wrong. Not a problem for most parents, but finding time is.  Tough,but ou can make time if you have your priorities in order.

I am not suggesting parents do as we did, that was really a bit extreme.  Worked out for the most part.

Also, I am fully aware that for some parents it is best not to be hands on full time.  As I have been known to say, I burned my bra to give more people, more choice.  Didn’t work our that way.  The hope of the 50’s and 60’s was that technology would free us, not tether us more tightly to the work world.

WHAT IS A PARENT TO DO?

Tip one: The concept of quality time is a good one.  Weekends are time to spend quality time with your loved ones, to insist everyone have “me-time.”

Tip two:  Insist part of the “Me-time” also be quiet time.  I remember lying under a tree with my Mom, and her telling me, “Be still and listen to the world.”   I also remember some nights when she and my father got my brothers and I up to go for a night walk.  That was another time we were told to be quiet so we could listen to the world.

Tip three: The earlier you start the idea of quality time, Me-time, and Silent time, the more it will be come part of your child’s life. 

Tip four: Make  certain each child has time alone with each parent.  It can be as simple as one parent talking and reading the bed time story.   If children share a bedroom and go to bed at the same time, arrange another private time.  The time alone is essential.

Tip five: As the child ages arrange date nights,  date breakfasts, date walks.  These do not have to be weekly, in fact they will be more special if  the dates are every two or three weeks or even once a month.

Tip six: Disconnect electronically during the date and make a big thing about doing so.  Teens connected? They must disconnect also.

Tip seven: Money need not be involved.  In fact, fun time together without spending money teaches a useful lesson. I do remember, however, having ice cream dates with my father.  We would walk to the ice cream store and have a sit down scoop of our favorite chocolate.

Tip eight: Don’t make dates you cannot keep.  The kids may act like they don’t care, but the message is they are not a priority and they need to feel special dates are special because they are sacred.  And yes, true emergencies do arrive.  Your boss asking you to have a beer with him or to work late is not an emergency unless you will be fired.  If that getting fired is a true danger, look for another job.

Tip nine: “Us time” often saves marriages.  David and I survived our time during the years of stress because our “Us Time” was watching Johnnie Carson every night

Tip ten: Your “Me-time” needs to be as sacred as your dates with your child. 

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Be kind to  me,  like this post, comment or  share.  You will be helping me stay strong and maybe  others as well.   Click here for my free Ebook: The 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises.

IMAGE BY: My wonderful niece Heather when we all sat to watch the sunset on an evening walk.