Parenting can be challenging especially now that schools are closed and children are home all day. Getting help and a support group can be one way to cope with raising a healthy child from the inside out.
Below are 10 tips for stress-less parenting according to the Antigua/Barbuda Medical Benefits Scheme.
- Take time each day to do something for yourself. Exercise, stretching, listening to soothing music, reading or meditation are some proven ways to reduce stress. Many time, parents especially women, leave themselves last or out of the picture totally when it relates to caring to one’s needs. But just as the recording in the aircraft says that we must put on our oxygen mask first, in the event of an emergency, so too parents should find time to recharge their battery before attempting to fill someone else’s cup.
- If you are feeling overwhelmed, arrange for some outside help so you can manage all aspects of your life more effectively. Getting outside and with nature is a great way to connect with the universe and relieving some tension that comes with the life and challenges that one faces.
- Keep your sense of humour when things don’t go as planned. No one is a perfect parent or has a perfect child for that matter. It is said that laughter is one of the best medicine. Not only does it make you happy when you laugh but laughing actually releases all the “feel good” hormones in the body that literally allows your body to be in a more relaxed state
- Accept that children sometimes make mistakes, are inconsistent, and act thoughtlessly, this is part of being a child. Each child is unique and they all learn, understand and grow in different ways, which is ok. Making mistakes is a part of life and a way in which we should learn and mature.
- Count to 10 before you react when you get angry. Many time we react more than we respond and ones reaction may not always reflect how we truly feel about the situation. Give yourself a brief moment to get into a state of calm before deciding what and how to respond in the best way.
- Ease tension with a human touch, share a hug, hold hands or give a pat on the back. Virginia Satir once said, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth”. The gentle caring physical touch of another human being affects not only our moods but our physiological state of being. It gives us a sense of belonging, affection and safety.
- Listen to your child and show you value your conversation. Good communication can prevent conflict and stress. Listening is just as important as verbally expressing ourself for effective communication. Take the time each day to not only talk to your children but to listen to what they have to say because they too have a voice and their voice matter also.
- Schedule in family fun and fitness times. Laughter and physical activities are great stress reducers. Planning fun games and activities together as a family is a great way to bond and to release as one.
- Spend time with friends talking about your parenting concerns. Also, share your reflections on the joys of parenting. Parenting is two-fold, filled with joys and laughter but is also filled with many challenges. Having a support group is a great way to rejoice in the up times and band together during the more trying times.
- Learn how children mature so your expectation for your child’s behaviour is realistic. Understand that each child is unique and learn in different ways and varying methods. Learn how your child ticks and avoid comparing your child with another even if they are siblings.