3 min read
As part of our Time Out series, JEMS founder Christine Ma-Lau 劉馬露明 talks to us about why parents need some time out from their parenting roles.
When I got married, people immediately asked my husband and I when we would start having kids. We wanted to wait for a bit and enjoy being married. Our well-meaning friends and family responded by warning us that our home would go from being a peaceful haven to a jungle gym of kids’ toys. We wouldn’t be able to go on holidays for years and even when we did, it would be that it would be more tiring than being at home; and don’t even think about a date night that doesn’t include watching the baby cam for at least 50% of the time.
Of course, as a parent now, the joys of parenthood outweigh the challenges and hardships. What all of our well-meaning friends were telling us was this: once you have kids, your kids will be the most important person to you in the world and your marriage will take a backseat.
It’s easy to let an adorably cute, helplessly needy, bundle of joy take on all the attention but it’s equally important to take time out to nurture the marriage in order to build a strong, stable family for your child.
As an educator, I’m all for focusing on children and their development. But there’s a balance. In order to foster your children’s healthy development, parents have to take time out for themselves to focus on their marriage. The benefits are many.
The day before I got married, I wrote a letter to my father. I thanked him for being such a great dad over the years and also for being a good husband. Knowing that I leave my parents with each other gave me the comfort to start a marriage of my own.
Parents, take some time out for yourselves. Don’t just use time away from your kids for work, but create space and time you can enjoy one another’s company: date nights and taking short trips together. Your ‘time out’ will be good for you and your kids.
Christine Ma-Lau's 劉馬露明 passion for educating children in character and values inspired her to establish the JEMS Learning House, a leading institution that provides Character Education to children up to the age of 12. Christine is the Principal of the JEMS Learning House, Adjunct Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong and Founding Chairperson of Character Education Foundation, an NGO that provides training and resources to schools & organisations in the area of character. As an expert in Character Education, Christine has hosted talks, workshops and trainings for students, teachers and social workers at prestigious institutions including The University of Hong Kong, The Education University of Hong Kong, St. Paul's Co-Educational College, St. Stephen's College and International Christian School to name a few.
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This article was independently written by Healthy Matters. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be relied upon for specific medical advice.
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