Homeschooling parents often find that they have little time for themselves. Maintaining balance while juggling careers and regular home management on one hand and homeschooling on the other hand can be enormously challenging.
There are many recommendations for homeschooling parents that focus on activities that are intended to help parents decompress and renew themselves, and these can be helpful. At Love and Logic, we have another approach for taking care of parents and it is embodied in the First Rule of Love and Logic: Adults take good care of themselves by setting limits without anger, lectures, threats, or repeated warnings.
By this we mean setting firm limits and not taking on problems unnecessarily. Of course, we end up helping our kids and solving (or co-solving) some problems. But Love and Logic adults use the Second Rule of Love and Logic: When a child causes a problem, the adult hands it back in loving ways. Love and Logic parents hand small, affordable problems back to kids and take care of themselves by refusing to own problems they don’t need to own.
Some of the most stressed-out adults we know remain stressed because they don’t set good limits. Instead of setting a good limit, such as, “I allow use of the car when it is returned with gas in it,” they expend a lot of energy reacting in anger and asking questions such as, “Why didn’t you fill the car back up?!”
As always, we must use judgment and common sense. Love and Logic does not suggest that parents neglect their kids when they really need help or refuse to help them out of anger or spite. We will continue to make the case that handing back problems (in loving ways with empathy) is taking care of yourself—and it’s good for the kids as well! Setting better limits around what you will provide, expect, or allow is taking good care of yourself. This also models healthy limit-setting for your kids, who learn many behaviors by watching their parents.
Taking care of yourself is a win-win. You don’t need to feel guilty about it because taking good care of yourself will help you take better care of the ones you love. For more insights that can help you take care of yourself as well as help your kids, watch my special Homeschooling video.
Thanks for reading!