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Permission to Parent Less

Rachel Bertsche, Chicago contributor and author of the new book The Kids Are in Bed, urges parents to plan playdates for themselves.

Rachel Bertsche
Photo: Brian McConkey Photography

Why should parents take time alone?

What kids want from their parents is not more time with them. They want less stressed parents. If you take more time for yourself, everyone will be happier, because you won’t be constantly checking your phone or shouting at them.

How do you practice what you preach?

This weekend we had a lot of family time, and I could feel myself at my limit. I got a haircut, ate a sandwich, and read a book for half an hour. By the time I got home, I was like, “You want to make cupcakes? Sure!”

What if you don’t have much time at all, let alone time for yourself?

You can watch a sitcom in 23 minutes. Text a friend to check in. Whatever it is, be deliberate.

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