Parenting and Stress Management
Parenting should come with a stress management manual: While enormously rewarding, it is also enormously stressful. From the time your child is born, you are bound to face parenting situations that leave you feeling angry, frustrated, worried, or otherwise over-stressed.
But with the proper stress management techniques and plenty of practice, parents can learn how to better keep their cool when family situations heat up and leave you facing child discipline issues.
Parenting and Child Discipline: Consider the Age
"What is very critical is the age of the child," says Norma Feshbach, PhD, professor emerita at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Feshbach recommends that when dealing with babies, toddlers, and young children, take a step back and remind yourself that your child is probably not behaving this way to spite you.
When dealing with teens, your focus should be on being a good listener and communicating as calmly as possible, without lecturing or giving orders to your kids. Teens tend to respond better when you speak to them in a respectful manner and focus on what they are doing right instead of what they are doing wrong.
Parenting and Child Discipline: Put a Support System in Place
Having a trusted network of friends and family members to talk with can make all the difference at high-stress moments. When you feel like you are reaching your limits, "try to call somebody and seek support," says Feshbach. This allows you to take a step back from the interaction and regain your composure.
Parenting and Child Discipline: Focus on the Positive
Staying positive during stressful life moments will benefit you and your family members. Instead of letting yourself get angry and frustrated when faced with a difficult situation, try taking a more positive approach.
Parenting and Child Discipline: Create a Calmer Environment
To bring more peace into your home, Feschback recommends:
- regularly spending time with friends and community members
- creating routines and structure within your household
- asking family members to help with housework
- scheduling time each week for your family to get together to discuss any issues or problems
- Focusing on appreciating one another and what you each do for the family.
Keeping your cool in stressful family situations and creating a close and loving family environment can give your children a sense of security that will help them to be more well-adjusted and successful when they venture out into the world.
And that is quite a stress reliever.