Stress of parenting is part of life. Parenting can be one of life's greatest joys but there are times especially in the case of bullying when stress can get the better of us. This is when all of lifes' hassles and demands are piled on top of bullying and we start to experience the negative effect of stress.
Just the stress of parenting a child or children can cause parents to feel angry, anxious or just "stressed out"
These feelings are normal and for the most part an inevitable part of family life. However, when bullying is thrown into the mix it can often times put us over our coping strategies and we are left overwhelmed and unprepared. Unfortunately, children do not come with manuals so we are left to learn as we go along. Just when you think you got it...they get a little older and there are different issues to deal with.
I know you love your children. This is not in question. However love is not necessarily all that is required. We need patience, creativity, problem solving skills and organization. Learning how to parent will probably continue until all your children are grown up and even then...they will always be our babies.
Most parents have high expectations of how things "SHOULD" be. We all want our children to be successful adults capable of having healthy, happy lives. Most parents worry about what our children will become.
It is important to keep a realistic attitude. There are no perfect parents and no perfect children. In fact I encourage all parents to be "UNPERFECT" and focus more on long term results than short term solutions.
It is helpful to step back and take a long range point of view. We need to have confidence that things will work out for the best. Children can go through difficult times and various developmental stages. What is stressful today may resolve itself in a short time.
Stress becomes a problem when you feel overwhelmed by the piling up of all the situations and things that happen to you. It is different for everyone. It is easy to get stressed out and feel there is too much happening at once and be unsure of how to handle it all.
Stress is triggered for different people by different things. It generally is accompanied by physical symptoms. You can feel tired, get headaches, stomach aches or backaches, clench your jaw, or grind your teeth, develop skin problems (acne, rosacea, alopecia, hives), have re-occurring colds or flu, muscle spasms, nervous twitches or have problems sleeping.
Mental signs of stress include feeling pressured, having difficulty concentrating, being forgetful and having trouble making decisions. Emotional signs include feeling angry, frustrated, tense, anxious or more aggressive than usual.
ARE You Stressed? Find out with this quiz
1) Make time for yourself. Reserve Time each week for something you enjoy or something for yourself.
2) Take care of your health with a good diet and regular exercise.
3) Avoid fatigue. Go to bed earlier and take short naps when you can.
4) Take a break from the kids.
5) Get involved in community programs to get you out of the house.
6) Talk to someone. Have a cup of tea or coffee with a friend.
7) Learn some ways to manage the stress
8) Practice time management.
9) Get organized. Do what you can when you can and then when the crisis strikes it will be easier to cope.
10) Develop Good Relationships. Laugh together and appreciate each other.
Stress of parenting is inevitable. It is part of helping our children grow up. IF they see you dealing well with stress they will learn to deal with it better as well.
Keep in mind if nothing seems to help there is help out there. In Canada we are very fortunate to have the Canadian Mental Health Association. They can provide help and support. To find a local office go to www.cmha.ca
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