From Paula Fraas
Family Advocacy Intervention Specialist
Being a parent can be a joy, but it is also a tough job and coping with the demands of parenting isn’t always easy. Parents today face a new set of challenges that come with busy schedules, balancing work with family, social isolation and other stress factors. These challenges may lead to good parents making mistakes in how they handle their children. By learning some techniques to decrease stress and take care of yourself as a parent, you can better care for your children. Below are some general tips to lessen parenting stress:
1. Take time out each day to do something for yourself. Exercise, stretching, listening to soothing music, reading or meditation are some proven ways to reduce stress.
2. If you are feeling overwhelmed, arrange for some outside help so you can manage all aspects of your life more effectively.
3. Keep your sense of humor when things don’t go as planned. No one is a perfect parent — or a perfect child.
4. Accept that children sometimes make mistakes, are inconsistent, and act thoughtlessly — this is part of being a child.
5. Count to 10 before you react when you get angry.
6. Ease tension with a human touch — share a hug, hold hands, or give a pat on the back.
7. Listen to your child and show you value your conversations. Good communication can prevent conflict and stress.
8. Schedule in family fun and fitness. Laughter and physical activitiy are great stress reducers.
9. Spend time with friends talking about your parenting concerns. Also share your reflections on the joys of parenting.
10. Learn how children mature so your expectations for your child’s behavior are realistic.
(Tips provided by ‘The Positive Line’)