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Managing Parental Stress
Being a parent is not easy, but it is a great challenge. After all, we are responsible for helping, raising and educating our children from the stage of a baby into the stage of adulthood. Although they move on into adulthood, we never stop being parents and always want to make sure that they are doing well. As a paradox, we need to learn how to be less of a parent, in order to reduce parental stress!
As good parents, we want to protect them from the world, but the world will show up and then we need to transfer control, in other words, to let them learn to deal with the world, and even more, to let them learn from their own mistakes. Of course, this will make parental stress worse for a while, but in the long run it will be better for them to learn this way. However, this does not mean that we should not keep an eye on our children, but also we must allow them to be imperfect and they will learn to find their own way.
Helpful Resources for Reducing Parental Stress
We must keep our stress under control, even if our children may become rebellious for a while (especially during the teenage years) and they will probably try to act in a way that may shock us.
Keep in mind the following things and you may be able to keep your parental stress to a minimum:
– Teenagers are not perfect, neither are adults
– Teenagers are always eager to go their own way
– Try to figure out what is going on in their heads
– Do not forget that we were their age once…
When the parental stress gets to be too much, we have a lot of helpful resources, such as: support groups, books, and websites that want to help us through our child-raising stress.
By managing our own parental stress, we allow our children to grow up and keep our emotions under control. So, rather than allowing parental stress to take over our life, we better keep an eye on our children, making sure that they are doing well and enjoying their life together within the family.
Conventional and Unconventional Stress-Relievers
You may here about all kind of popular stress management techniques, but I will show you here some original and creative stress relievers that keep myself and my family feel more relaxed and enjoy our life.
Playing With Kids: Have fun, play and interact with your kids! If you have small children, do not just supervise them, better really play with them! This can be a great diversion from your stress, and the children will love it, too. Walk and talk with your older children, shop and talk with your teens and the parental stress is gone!
Maintain a Clean and Organized Living Space: Cleaning your house and getting organized at home it is very important task. A beautifully decorated, comforting environment in your home can be a safe haven where you can escape from daily stress.
Gardening: Digging, planting, fertilizing and tending a garden of vegetables or flowers, can be a wonderfully relaxing time, with the reward of delicious organic food, or a gorgeous yard as well! The physical activity of planting can be a great stress release, while sunshine is a great source of vitamin D.
Singing, Loudly: We have seven musicians in our home, so we can tell you for sure that loud vocalization releases tension from your body. A great way to start the day is by singing in the shower and in the car.
Put on Some Music: Listening to good music as you get ready and start your day will create positive energy and a soothing sense of peace. Music can compliment other healthy habits, as your morning walk, or your journaling.
Stretch in the Shower: The hot water will loosen up your muscles, but the act of stretching will help you to release stored tension and enable you to start the day feeling more relaxed and ready to handle your everyday jobs and problems.
Eat a Balanced Breakfast: You may start the day by drinking coffee, but do not skip the breakfast, known as ‘the most important meal of the day’! A healthy meal in the morning, plenty of protein and fruit, can balance your blood sugar levels and give you the sustenance you need to handle your daily stress.
Drink Green Tea: You may drink coffee, but green tea is loaded with antioxidants, so it is a delicious and healthy alternative. We drink daily a warm cup of tea and this fact helps us to feel nurtured and to prepare for the day ahead.
Organize Your Time: Keep a schedule, learn to say no to urgent and excessive demands on your time, and you will have more time to do the important things in your life. You will have more time to do things that you enjoy in life, and raising children is one of the most important things. Believe me, what I write here it is not just theory! I have nine children and I know what I am talking about.
Write in Your Journal: Journaling or blogging (if you use a computer) has many health and stress management benefits, and can help you keep focused on important issues of your life, process negative emotions, and solve your stress problems.
Morning Walk: A morning walk with or without your kids can get you ready for the day, lower your stress level, help you sleep better at night, and reduce your risk of many health conditions. And if you bring a dog with you, as my wife and I do, you will totally enjoy your walk!
Cultivate a Supportive Social Group: Having school age children you can find a helpful social group within the school, with people to talk to in times of crisis. Make the commitment to meet more people, develop better relationships for yourself and for your kids, and you will find that the reward worth the effort.
Take Care of Your Body: “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers” (3John1:2). An unhealthy body can cause big stress, so getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and getting massages are all good ways to take care of your body and to decrease stress.
Renew Your Spirit: If you left the church behind other “urgent and important” activities try to go back to church. If you never went there, you should try. Nothing to lose, life to gain! Do not be ignorant! I find real life, entirely free of stress, every Sunday in my church and in every Christian church I visit!
Conclusion: As you develop these stress-relieving practices in your daily life, you should experience less parental stress, being able to handle it. This will lead you to a happier and healthier family lifestyle.