How parents can spend time alone

If you are reactionary asking for time alone, Dr Talib said, you can be specific about what is stressing you – a change at work or feelin...


If you are reactionary asking for time alone, Dr Talib said, you can be specific about what is stressing you – a change at work or feeling overwhelmed with chores around the house – and be clear that is why you are need time to clear your mind on your own. There is also a difference between being alone and being alone, she said, and that nuance is worth discussing with the kids.

2. Alone time should be part of your family’s routine. Remember those abandoned color-coded graphics from the early days of Covid? All family dinners? “We talked about family routines” at the start of the pandemic, Dr Talib said. “Why haven’t we talked about creating a alone time routine? Her children, who are only 3 and 5, know that she goes out every day “to look at a tree in the garden”. She is meditating, and they know that “tree time” should not be interrupted – and that it does not last very long.

Lizzie Assa, Founder of The Workspace for Children, a website and Instagram account who helps parents teach children to play on their own, ensured that her three children, who are now 14, 11 and 8, have had ‘time off’ every day since they were toddlers. She said it takes work, but the payoff is worth it. “Kids learn that they need time off and they need time alone,” said Ms. Assa, who is a neighbor of mine in Maplewood, New Jersey. Say, ‘You have to get away from us,’ ”she said. “They say, ‘I’m going to my room. “”

If instituting daily rest time in your home seems impossible, there are other ways you can try to incorporate time out into your children’s schedule. Dr Pooja Lakshmin, a frequent contributor to The Times and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at George Washington University School of Medicine, suggested that I just ask my daughter what she needs to take care of herself. . You can do this with an 11-year-old, Dr Lakshmin reminded me, “Ask, ‘What do you need? »Do you want to read a book? Take a bath?’ Help them think too.

3. It’s normal for your children to be upset. If you don’t want to spend every waking hour with your kids, “it’s developmentally appropriate for them to be insulted,” Dr Lakshmin reminded me. “This is normal. Your job as a parent is to help them understand that there is nothing wrong with feeling sad. She even went further by saying that sitting with this discomfort teaches them. children that they can take care of themselves even if it makes someone else temporarily unhappy.

Dr Damour put it even more clearly: “People deserve their privacy, period”. Plus, she reminded me that I was heading full blast into my teenage years, when my daughter is likely to become “allergic” to me. I might as well appreciate that she wants to stay close as long as I can.



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