It is sometimes hard to remember when you are a parent that it is also important to take care of yourself and your own needs. Dr. Brooks recently discussed research that suggests that parents’ ability to manage their own stress is one of the top three predictors of positive outcomes for children. So when you are taking care of yourself and your own needs, you are actually indirectly taking care of your child’s wellbeing. A lot of parents choose to forgo activities that are replenishing and “filling their well” such as exercising, spending time relaxing, or going out with friends (or with each other) without the kids, because they feel guilty about being away from their children. However, children benefit more from spending a little less time with a relaxed, cheerful parent than spending a little more time with a grumpy stressed-out parent. So next time a friend asks you to come over for coffee, or the next time you feel like you need to be alone and have some peace and quiet for a while, take that time! And remember: you are not only doing this for yourself, but also for your children!