One of the important tasks facing every parent is to teach their child how to be an independent adult. Independence is that quality that helps people recognize and meet their own needs.
Children learn patterns of behavior first through their parents. The first step to a child’s independence is for them to see their parents satisfied.
The idea that children’s needs come first is, to some extent, contrary to parental self-care. A parent satisfying the child’s needs first often faces chronic exhaustion, stress, and burnout; in such a state, the parent stops being fulfilling. In this sense, children need a parent who takes care of themselves.
Basic parental needs are arranged in a hierarchy in which you cannot skip over a need.
1. Physical needs – Food, water, enough sleep. Physical stressors are strong enough stimuli that cannot be ignored and can interfere with your well-being.
2. Intellectual needs – Parenting duties can take you out of your usual interests briefly, but boredom and monotony are a quick step toward burnout.
3. Social contact – Isolation is invariably associated with chronic stress and tiredness. To cope with them a parent needs socializing.
4. Emotional needs – The final step to self-care is to find understanding, love, and feel valued.
Author: Venera Simeonova