"Help! My child wants space!"
Canva AI-generated illustration of a child floating happily inside a bubble

"Help! My child wants space!"

Why 'space' and 'boundaries' are emotionally wrenching ideas for many parents.

Tanmoy Goswami
Welcome to edition #6 of the parenting and mental health series. As always, a reminder that Sanity takes a lot of time and effort from me and is completely free. Please support my work if it adds any value to your life, and invite your friends to explore Sanity. Thanks.

At the start of the Covid lockdown in 2020, I got a DM from someone who identified himself as a 25-year-old Indian man living with anxiety. While the rest of the world was moaning about social isolation and loneliness, his problem was the exact opposite: He was stressed about being cooped up at home with his family for weeks. He'd already had some intense arguments with them and wanted to know if I had any tips on how to survive this volatile situation.

I gave him the best advice I could think of: Find some space where you can get away from you family for an hour every day. But even as I typed my reply, I eye-rolled at how facetious it sounded.

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