A message to parents and carers about the importance of caring for yourself.
Much has been written on the subject of positive role modelling. In all facets of functioning children and young people seek and need positive role models. Now here comes the good bit – parents and carers your mission, and I so hope you accept it, is to actively and purposefully care for yourself whilst your child is engaged in therapy… And even if they’re not.
Being the front line support person for a child is an incredibly important and rich role. Being available, being patient and kind, being able to meet their many and varying needs requires energy, enthusiasm, commitment and at times great stamina.
Taking time to rejuvenate, recover, rest and care for yourself demonstrates the importance of self -love and care. Taking time to connect with family and friends, to have fun, share a laugh, be silly and playful. We all know that actions speak louder than words so taking time out for a cup of tea with a friend, a soak in the bath or a walk on the beach is showing that we value and prioritise care for self and makes us better able to care for others.
Those who have travelled on a plane will be familiar with the safety message – please put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. Parents and carers commitment to their child or young person’s therapeutic plan for self-care can result in their own plan falling by the way side. Consider your therapist as flight attendant offering you the same sound and evidence based advice – care for self means we are better able to care for others.