Unsurprisingly, research shows that one of the most stressful stages of a married couple's life together is when they start having children. When children are brought into the mix, a couple's attention inevitably gets redirected to the new young ones and away from each other. With kids that demand constant supervision, love, support, guidance and everything else that comes with having a family, parents often experience high levels of stress and a loss of connection and intimacy with each other.
To save that intimacy, says clinical psychologist and author Dr. Shefali Tsabary, parents should focus on eliminating the unnecessary outside stressors in their lives. For the first five or six years, she says, parents don't need to bend over backwards racing their children from one appointment or lesson to the next or trying to set up a foundation that will give their child an edge in the world as they come of age. These things don't really matter or nourish your child and instead add more pressure to parents in an already stressful and chaotic time.
Beyond setting time aside for a date night, Dr. Tsabary recommends creating a list of the stressful things parents have been devoting time and energy toward that just aren't important. Although the intimacy between parents won't be the same as it was before children entered their lives, by eliminating the unnecessary they will naturally reduce stress and have more time to focus on each other.
Dr. Tsabary specializes in the integration of Eastern philosophy and Western psychology in order to help families implement the concept of conscious parenting to better connect with their children. In her new book, The Awakened Family
, she explores these dynamic relationships between parent and child and explores a new way in parenting, where gender often becomes androgynous and therefore free of gender confinement. This, she says, also creates a generation that is balanced and living as one.