Finding time for leisure, for parents with a child who has autism can be difficult. What is leisure? Many people believe leisure is a way to spend time when there is nothing else to do do. The dictionary defines the true meaning of leisure as," freedom from demands of work or duty, time available, for recreation or relaxation, spare time."
Parents can find leisure time for themselves, even though they may have a child with autism. This is done by realizing, there is a difference between having leisure time and engaging in a leisure activity. Some leisure time could be filled with dysfunctional activities that have no enjoyment.
Often times parents will feel guilty if they spend leisure time to enjoy themselves, or do something out of the ordinary that requires fun, relaxation and do exactly what you want without pressure, or forced to do it. You as a parent must overlook feeling guilty, so you can find time for leisure.
It is imperative for you, not to to feel guilty by taking leisure time. It is healthy to find leisure time for yourself, even though you have an autistic child. In addition, it is also healthy for your child to understand, you are a person with needs and you also must fulfill them.
Often parents with a child who has the disorder of autism feels they are not doing enough for their child. They fill their day with so much attention towards their child, and sometimes forget about themselves to take time for leisure.
Yes, a child with autism for the most part, requires high maintenance and attention that should not be overlooked. But, you as a parent should not be overlooked either, when it comes to finding time for leisure.
You might want to take a walk, look at the stars at night on the patio with a cup of coffee when your child is in bed. Go to a movie that is a comedy, or rent one and watch it with the door closed, with no disruptions. Getting a book that you have always wanted to read, but did not have the time or did not have the place for leisure. You may want to walk through a park, go to a zoo, enjoy the flowers, watch other people sitting on a park bench. For me, I love to take a drive near a lake and watch sailboats, with my feet up on the patio furniture. It is soothing and relaxing.
There are numerous things you can do for leisure. Be creative, and find out what you enjoy, want to do and are able to for yourself, even though your child has autism. You may have to adjust your schedule or find another person who is familiar with autism to watch your child, while you find time to enjoy your leisure time.
It is healthy, both mentally and physically for you as parents and your child with autism to find leisure time. You will be more relaxed, enjoyable, more rejuvenated to take on new and challenging tasks.
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