How to Improve My Parenting Skills without Getting Stressed Out
Parenting is hard. Whether you are a first-time parent or you are on your third run, being a parent is a guarantee of a difficult time ahead. Raising kids is not without its challenges, and the best way to not burn out and blow up is to not stress about it too much. We all take the path of striving to be better parents and better people as a whole to be role models for our kids, but if not handled correctly, we end up grumpy and scaring the kids. And we don’t want that; we want kids to grow up well-rounded, kind, and with great mental health.
In a child’s early development, “monkey sees, monkey do” is applicable most of the time. A stressed-out and grumpy parent will set the mood of the home and teach the child to mimic the stressed-out parents’ behavior. Below are a few tips on how not to stress out over every stressful time.
Ask for help from friends and family when you need it.
Assess the situation. Take a step back and understand the things you can do and the things you can’t. You are not expected to take on all the challenges yourself. Talk to your partner, talk to your kids, talk to your parents and friends. The key to being stress-free is to ask for help when you need it. Carrying the burden all on your own could lead to serious mental health issues, not just for you, but for everyone else that relies on you. There may be things that someone else can do better than you, and asking them for help doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent. It just means you know yourself enough to not risk your family’s well-being by experimenting with how to do things better.
Make a List of Your Parenting Goals and Then Break Them Down Into Smaller, More Manageable Tasks.
Management of goals and tasks is a great way to move forward and progress. If it works for giant corporations, it would more or less work for parents. Set long-term and short-term family goals and start putting down steps to achieve those goals. Getting the whole family involved is important for the planning, so it would probably go more like a workshop. Include the kids’ goals, too; that way, every member knows where each one wants to go and needs help with.
Start introducing the process to small projects first, like weekly grocery shopping. And as the family gets the hang of openly expressing their ideas and goals, they introduce quarterly goals, annual goals, and a ten-year goal. Keep in mind that these goals should be open to changes and flexible enough to not cause more stress on the family. More often than not, the goals end up being more of a guide rather than mandatory.
Spend Time with Your Kids to Make Sure They Know They Are Loved
Find time in your daily routine to connect with the kids. It doesn’t have to be face-to-face; send memes, short messages, and jokes on the messaging apps. Some parents leave notes for their kids in lunch boxes or game controllers, while others make it a habit to call their kids or leave voice mail during breaks at work. This helps the kids to feel important, accepted, and appreciated.
Take a stroll or find a physical activity with your kids at least once a week. It doesn’t have to be a heavy workout, or you don’t have to stroll too far. Toddlers would have a grand adventure just exploring the neighborhood, and preteens would find a whole lot of topics to talk about during their stroll.
Have dinner together as a family. Talking about each other’s days and experiences over dinner is a great way to connect and understand each other.
Spending time with the family and making sure they know you love them would ensure that everyone in the family is on the same page. With a good understanding of each other, each member is ready to support each other in stressful situations.
Take Care of Yourself – Eat Healthily, Get Enough Sleep, and Exercise Regularly
Be healthy both in body and mind. Most of the stress experienced by first-time parents is caused by neglecting their health. If you go above and beyond to make sure the kids have a healthy diet, it does not justify you getting unhealthy. Not getting enough rest and nutrition would lead you to handle things differently, and you end up putting yourself and your family in difficult situations. Take deep breaths every now and then and assess your health. Rest if you are tired, eat until you are no longer hungry, ask the kids for alone time if you need it. Being a parent doesn’t mean you should empty yourself for the kids. Keep in mind that if you get sick, everyone else in the family will have a hard time.
Find Ways to Reconnect with Your Spouse or Partner
Get to know each other again. Set up sleepovers for your kids with grandparents or their friends and have date nights with your partner. And date nights don’t even need to be a dinner date at a fancy restaurant. Most couples just share a cheap bottle of wine on the porch, sharing laughs and stories. Just having fun with your partner at home over anything at all would be enough for a date night. Talk about your life goals, fantasies, worries, and dreams. You may already know these things, but it’s best to talk about them and share them as partners. Just make sure you don’t go too far on home dates and disturb neighbors with your bed-breaking activities.
Set Boundaries About What You Can Handle
Know the family and know yourself. Set limits in terms of financial capabilities. Avoid blindly buying things that are not necessary for a comfortable life. Your two-year-old son does not need or want that lightweight 44 RC buggy from Rock Force; your baby girl doesn’t need that Gucci Web Bow Mary Jane Flat.
Set up a financial plan to avoid getting yourself waist-deep in financial issues. Most financially successful households allot their earnings in a 10-20-70 scheme. 10% of income goes to paying off debts; 20% is for savings, broken down into 5% for an emergency fund, 5% for projects, and 10% for the future. After taking care of the debts and savings, 70% is allotted for living expenses. It may be hard to start now for some families, but there are other ways to plan your household finances. Do a little research and find a plan that suits your needs, and you will be setting up a future free of financial stress.
Make Time for Yourself or Find a Hobby
Make time to do things you enjoy. Taking care of your mental and emotional health can be a big help in decreasing stress levels. Taking breathers now and then is good practice, but make sure that your partner and the kids know that you aren’t just ignoring them. Find a hobby that you enjoy and ask the kids if they want to try it with you. You might find that the kids enjoy the things you enjoy, and your hobby turns into family time. But in turn, you have to understand when your partner asks for “me time”, too.
Each person handles stress differently, and the effects can vary. The most important thing is for everyone to take care of their mental health. As we know, parenting is never easy. There are days when it feels like there’s no end in sight to the chaos and noise that surrounds you and your family. It can be exhausting to keep going with all these challenges, but it doesn’t have to feel impossible. If you’re feeling stuck or just want some more tips on how other parents cope with stress, leave a comment below! We hope this post helped you out-let us know what coping mechanisms work for you so others may benefit from your experience too.