Almost all parents experience parental stress. After all, a parent’s job isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world, and between taking care of your kids and managing your household, it’s difficult to find the time to relax and de-stress yourself.
However, researchers from the American Psychological Association found that kids are negatively affected if their parents are constantly tired or stressed out.
What causes stress?
A host of factors can cause adults to experience stress. These include time demands, financial concerns, stress in their marriage, health concerns, self-doubt, and the numerous responsibilities that parents have.
While stress is unavoidable, and it’s normal for people to go through phases of low stress and high stress, some parents are constantly under a huge amount of stress, causing them a lot of problems, not just physical or emotional problems, but also problems with their kids.
Whenever your kid sees you stressed out, or you get angry or frustrated as a result of stress, your kid also feels the same way. There are also some cases wherein kids complained of stress-related headaches and stomachaches. Another survey found that while a majority of kids say that their parents’ stress affects them, 70% of adults say that their stress and anxiety only barely affects their kids.
This means that for the most part, a lot of parents don’t seem to notice the effects that their stress has on their kids. Which is why it’s very important for parents to address this problem early on.
What can parents do?
There are 4 main steps that parents can do in order to help alleviate and manage their stress, even if they have a busy lifestyle.
The first thing would be to acknowledge that your stress affects your kids. You’d be surprised to know that your kids are more observant than you think, and they do notice when you’re sad, angry, frustrated, tired, or stressed out.
Another step would be to watch yourself whenever you’re stressed out. Being aware that you’re stressed and prone to emotional outbursts or anxiety can help you manage your stress. Know what things cause you stress, and if possible, do your best to avoid or lessen those triggers.
Sometimes, it’s difficult for parents to stop themselves from getting stressed out. In those cases, it’s good to teach your child ways on how to manage their own stress so that they can learn to relax themselves. This is also a good way for you to learn what steps you can take to lower your stress levels. Things like listening to music, exercising, and deep breathing can do wonders to lower stress levels.
Lastly, play is extremely important in reducing your stress levels. You might be tired from taking care of your kids all day, so playing with them would probably be the last thing on your mind, but playing with your kids lets you have fun, relax, and it’s also a way to bond with your kids. Try to look for activities that would engage your kids, instead of doing things like watching TV with them.
Sources: health.usnews.com, rd.com
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