How to Relieve Parenting Stress?

Defining Stress

Stress is defined as any physical or emotional demand that one is unable to handle. These demands encompass all the little hassles which parents experience daily, from the moment they prepare children for school till the moment they go to sleep. The words “parenting” and “stress” seem to go together. There are no stress-free ages or stages in raising children. Some might be a little less challenging but they all have their ups and downs. Experts tell us that some stress, in moderate doses, actually increases performance. However, too much stress destroys our health and relationships. Just because stress occurs every day, one disregards the serious effect they can have on our overall well-being. With time, these hassles of modern parenting build pressure, until parents start getting angry and frustrated over smaller issues.

The reasons for stress could be due to worrying about the well-being of children, trying to be perfect or coping up with the demands of a job, a spouse, and the management of a household. Due to our mobile society, we are often not close enough to our own parents or extended family who could provide support. Last of all, the techniques keep changing. Things that were once thought to be appropriate parenting techniques are no longer accepted and new and contradictory information keep coming out. The various other factors which cause stress are: financial, health, relationships, work etc.

Tips to beat parenting stress:

  • Set priorities. Decide what is important. Spending time with your children, showing them love by listening and encouraging them will certainly have more long-term impact than having a clean house. So, accept yourself as a bit imperfect.
  • Take a break. Doing something you enjoy can give you the added energy to meet all your challenges.
  • Take care of your health, get enough sleep, exercise (with or without your children), and eat healthy. Laugh whenever you can.
  • Avoid physical means of discipline. It only teaches children to use violence to get their way. If you are stressed, you may overreact.
  • Helping to solve family problems increases your child’s sense of ownership for the problem. Set up a regular time each week to talk about problems, family members are experiencing and come up with working solutions.
  • Finally just socialize and develop a strong social support network and this is the best help one can get. This network will be there for you when the stress or your child gets out of control.
  • These aren’t the only ways to minimize stress in your life and you will find on your own certain solutions which books or others can never give. Those won’t make your life stress-free. Experts claim that living stress-free isn’t good for us anyway (although I would like to try it for a while). The reality is it isn’t going to happen! So, at least pick one skill and start managing you and your family’s stress.