Parenting requires us to juggle the demands of everyday adult life along with everything related to raising children. From the mundane like completing household chores and homework help, to figuring out if your child is making friends or getting enough sleep. Raising kids is a tough job, and even though there are many laughs and lovable moments, there are other not-so-fun moments that can wear parents down.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed with the amount of responsibility involved in raising children and feeling the pressure to get it all done within a specific time frame. Sometimes, you feel like you’re being pulled from all angles and nothing you do is good enough. When your kids start throwing tantrums, fighting over the same toys, or taking forever to brush their teeth, you may feel like you are about to explode. This is an indicator that your self-care needs a tune-up, and the following suggestions can help you redirect your focus to gain more patience.
1. Mindfulness. If you find yourself overreacting to any given situation, mindfulness may be difficult at first, but incredibly rewarding. Check in with your thoughts and feelings about a situation. Learning to recognize that you have a choice in your reaction will lessen your tendency to yell or lose your patience and blame others for your actions. It will also help you think of other more effective ways to cope with daily stressors.
2. Check your expectations. Is what you are asking of your child developmentally and age appropriate? Sometimes kids don’t know how to tell us they can’t do something, and they try not to let us down. If you see that your child is consistently having a hard time following through on your requests, check to see if they need some assistance and adjust your parenting method.
3. Re-assess. Check your to-do list. Are there things that can be pushed off for a later date? Reducing the pressure on yourself to get it all done and done right will help lower your stress level and help in your reactions to others.
4. Ask for help. Check your agenda. Can you delegate some things to others? This doesn’t make you any less of a parent. Productive people learn to delegate some responsibilities to others to prioritize their tasks on the to-do list.
5. Take a breather. When you feel like this may be a moment when you’ve had enough, take a minute and step out of the situation. Let your child (babies and toddlers, too) know that you need a few minutes to calm down and will be back soon. Go to a place where your child can find you and do not leave the house. Take deep breaths and remind yourself that this moment will pass. Once you are calm, return to the situation. Your kids will listen to you more if you are calm and collected.
Reviewed by Eva Benmeleh, March 2020
- It’s normal for parents to get stressed and emotional, but it’s important to not let it affect how they parent their children.
- Be mindful of your emotions and your child’s emotions, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- If you need to take a moment to yourself, be sure to step out of the room to re-assess.