Stress is the major reason for parents’ frustrations with their kids. Do you remember seeing your first-born child for the first time? You might have been astonished at her eyes, or mesmerised by the perfection of her hands. You might have dutifully recorded the first smile, the first laugh, the first step, the first dance. She has become the most important person in your life. When that little person came into your world, you knew your life had changed forever.
There's nothing like the joy of parenthood. Your spirits can be lifted on the most miserable day. It gives you a reason to get out of bed in the morning, and a good excuse to blow bubbles, catch fireflies, or watch a firework display. When you give your child a hug at night, you know everything is all right with the universe.
Managing your stress levels
However, parenthood can also be stressful. There are so many demands on your time, so many obligations that you need to fulfil. Your responsibilities can make you feel anxious and frustrated. If your child is sick, or has problems at school, or has become involved in drug or alcohol abuse, your stress level may rise to a maximum.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to eliminate the stressors of parenthood. They come with the territory. While you can guide your child, you can't expect to control them, especially when your child is a teenager. So, you've got to learn to somehow manage the stress of parenthood before it gets the better of you.
When communication between you and your child becomes complicated, the most effective technique you can use is to keep it going. If you can speak with your child about something that is upsetting him or her, your stress levels will be significantly reduced. It's important for your child to realise that your love is unwavering and that she can come to you at any time of day or night. Strengthening the bond of trust can contribute a great deal to eliminate your stress.
Another stress-reducing tactic you can apply is to set time aside to spend with your child—other than helping her with homework. This is particularly important if you have more than one child. You need some fun time with your child—to let them know that you care. Plan for an afternoon of rollerskating or an evening playing board games. You’ll find that such relaxing activities can help to alleviate your stress.
Taking time out for yourself
Also, it is important that you build into your day, a break from all work stress. Have your husband or wife watch the children for ten minutes while you re-cup. This is particularly important if you find yourself under alot of stress that you are almost losing your temper. Give yourself some time out—and watch your stress levels drop considerably.
We need to draw special attention to the stress that single parents experience. Theirs is a difficult load and the pressures can be intense. That is why it is so critically important for single parents to strengthen their support systems. They need to have a parent, brother or sister, or friend they can rely on when the stress of parenting becomes too overwhelming.
Caring for yourself and managing stress from caring for your children is the most common reason for burnout or stress.
Seeking help from others
Just having someone to talk to can be a tremendous stress-reliever. In other cases, a single parent might need someone to watch their children for the night so that the parent can re-cup. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness—it is indicative of great emotional strength. If you find yourself falling apart, don’t wait for a crisis to get some assistance. If you turn to others for support, you will find that your family unit will only grow stronger.
Parenting is perhaps the single greatest responsibility a person can hold. As a result, there is a tremendous amount of stress involved. Recognising that fact is an important part of the parenting process. Once you are attuned to stress—and the causes of it—you are more likely to be able to manage it well. It is important also for you to recognise that stress management is an on-going process—that it doesn’t happen overnight. However, with time, you can become a first-rate stress manager.
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