SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

September 13, 2013

Dr. Kate Roberts: Back-to-school: Parents, take care of yourselves

I can tell when the school year has begun by the piles of paper in the center of my kitchen counter that migrate to the edges by mid-week. There are permission forms for pictures, school trips, buses, school lunches, band, student council, event reminder forms, teacher introduction and expectation forms, and demographic forms; one for each child.

This doesn’t include extra-curricular forms like team sportsmanship agreements, game and practice schedules, teammate information, uniform information, etc.

Most parents I have talked to are already feeling overwhelmed, and the homework, the projects and the sporting and extracurricular events have not even started. Parents, how are we going to get through this school year if the first two weeks have us exhausted?

In the start of a new school year we tend to look for a rebirth of sorts. But let’s face it, unless parents take some precautions, parents and children, entire families even, might end up burnt out by April. Like running a marathon, pacing is everything. For recent television coverage on this topic, click here.

As in previous generations, parents and their children feel pressured to keep up with the neighbors. Unlike in the past, parents may be losing ground instead of gaining it. For example, kids today have the upper hand in technology, and parents often rely on their kids to teach them the ropes. All of this combined weighs heavily during the long school year, and as a result parents are at risk for burnout. Recently I coined “burnt-out parent syndrome” to describe this growing phenomenon in parents today.

The antidote to this is self-care and nurturing, but many parents have lost the ability to take care of their own needs, too consumed with caring for their children’s needs and everyone else’s. How can parents care for their children’s emotional, spiritual and individual concerns when their own go unattended?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Comments Tracker