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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Focus on Fostering: The need for space

I talked last week about the social code of personal space, but today is not about conversational space, but space away by yourself.  Some parents think their children [especially adolescents and teens] are spending too much time alone, holed up with their video games or computers or facebook, or just isolated via headphones.  But although that isn't time spent with family... it isn't alone time either.

Kids need to learn how to be alone in their own personal space with time to think, to tinker, to read, to daydream, even to fall asleep.  Possibly the only teens who understand that are those who must share a bedroom with a sibling.  They are painfully aware of not having a place to go to be in their OWN space.  Parents need their own space too.  I suspect it is a basic human need of a sort.  The need to occasionally withdraw, to regroup, to rejuvenate, or just to be ,,, but to be alone.

I think children in care particularly benefit from having a space that is theirs. A space where they can cry, or be angry, or admit they are happy, or admit they have lost so much.  I think we as foster parents need to find ways to teach them how to find space and time to be alone.  Teaching them to find personal quiet at a beach, or on their bedroom floor, or in a field. Teaching them how to claim space and privacy in healthy ways.

After all...

everybody needs alone time.

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