Parents need to take special care of themselves. If parents are stressed, the whole family dynamic can be strained. Social support is necessary but time is at a premium. Parents should remember that it’s a matter of quality social support, not quantity. If you ever feel too overwhelmed, please seek out an appropriate resource. They’re out there. You’re worth it!
#7 – Don’t Create Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
Looking for patterns is natural. If you have a child that seems naturally defiant, try not to expect that his next move will be a negative one. Biases and beliefs can become self-fulling prophecies. If you assume the worst, you’re more likely to experience negative reactions and situations.
#6 – Keep The Bad At Bay
Research shows that even very brief exposure to negative emotions or information can lead people to pay more attention to negative stimuli. A single trigger, a video, photo, or even an angry comment, can set off stress circuits in our brain. (We’ve all been in situations where stress interferes with our inability to think clearly.)
#5 – Hold The Good Close
Actively seek out pleasant social interactions. The Internet affords us an opportunity to connect with those near and far. Cultivate your relationships with those who make you feel good. Science shows that reflecting on good memories and seeking out opportunities to show physical affection changes the brain’s chemistry. Be that spark of good to others.
#4 – But Don’t Overdo The Empathy
Affective empathy is “feeling the pain” of others. However, it is a double-edged sword. You want to provide comfort but must guard against an overreaction. Over-empathizing with your friend or even your child can increase both your stress level and the stress level of your child. As a parent, you have to make sure that you can problem-solve effectively.
#3 – Help Your Kids Deal With Their Own Stress
It’s important for parents to be able to step back from their children’s problems. That’s not to say that as a parent you abandon them. But, it’s important to know how they approach problems so you can help them learn to problem-solve and conflict-resolution skills (especially when it comes time to deal with their siblings.)
#2 – Sometimes Stress Happens
Stress is a fact of life. However, studies show that people handle stress better when they reconsider the event from a new angle. In other words, the phrase “Something good comes out of something bad” can be a healthy mantra.
#1 – Make Time For Yourself
Never underestimate how your reactions affect your child. With that said, it’s crucial that your children see that you are “real” and must sometimes problem-solve as well.
Take the time to:
Get enough sleep
Ensure you make the time to get things done
Make time for fun (with your kids and by yourself)