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Alphabet Parenting: B is for Balance

Editorial

8/27/2021 | Dr. Tamar Andrews

balance

bal·​ance | \ ˈba-ləns \ | noun

something that remains or is left over after other things have been done or used

Many people would first think of balance in terms of money in the bank or credit on a credit card. When dealing with children, this is a good analogy to help understand how to keep enough daily “funds” in the areas of energy, attention, strength, and sanity.

If you have $100 worth of energy or sanity when you wake up in the morning, make sure to keep a positive balance in your account for the entire day. If you spend most of your funds in the morning, dealing with work stresses, for personal matters, working out, or dealing with the neighbors, then you will not have anything left in reserve for the afternoon and evening. You will have to tap into your reserve accounts or borrow on credit when your children get home from school.

Borrowing or transferring funds from another account means you won’t have enough for your spouse, your parents, or your friends. Or in the worst case...you will not have left any for yourself. As caregivers I think we put ourselves in a position to fall into this trap too often. We get so used to doing everything for others that it’s often difficult to put in the time for ourselves. As a result, we need to retrain the way we think. It’s not possible to invest any of your balance into childcare if you do not have the necessary funds for yourself first. Make sure to take time to refuel yourself before caring for others; it doesn’t have to be a lot, I think you’d be surprised at the dividend yields from a short walk, a quick read, or simply remembering to breathe easily.

It’s especially crucial to always keep a positive balance in the bank throughout the day because unlike regular bank accounts it requires a great deal of time to make a new deposit. This type of account maintenance requires a good night's rest, healthy eating, and a positive attitude to renew your balance. Ensure that you get these each and every day so that you start off every morning with $100 worth of energy and sanity to ensure you have funds for everything you have to do throughout the day.

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