Monday, June 6, 2011

Reducing the Stress of Parenting Little Kidlets

Monday is stress reduction technique day since Monday is traditionally high-stress, if only because the whole work week is ahead. As my daughter was driving me to the airport this morning we started talking about the inevitable stress of parenting little kids. Moms wonder:

"How can I get Marcie to eat more vegetables?" "What are good solutions for Liam’s nail-biting habit?" "How much TV is OK for 5 year olds?"  "What can I do so Jerome will start talking more clearly?"

Part of the stress of course is caused by negative self-talk. “Have I done the wrong thing with pre-school?”  “I should be organized enough so I never just plop the kids in front of the TV.” Another part of the stress comes from the prevalent competitive parenting environment that exists here and there. “Jimbo slept through the night from the time he came home from the hospital, so I never had that worry.” “My children never eat anything unless it’s certified organic.” OUCH! Then of course there are comments, criticisms, advice from family, which doesn’t sit well sometimes and adds to stress.

One of the best ways to reduce the stress of parenting is to develop a community of moms who are supportive and realistic about solving problems of parenting; who can laugh at faux pas and not take themselves TOO seriously. It may take a while to find them. They might be neighbors, or friends, cousins or in-laws, soccer moms, or colleagues at work. The small group could be informal, un-named, but mutually recognized — or organized such as a Mom’s group or an online blog site. Asking is the modus operandi. “How do you handle this concern or problem?” Telling, giving advice and suggestions are freely given — when asked for. Laughter flows occasionally too.

The desired outcome is to “normalize” your feelings and thoughts and parenting practices and to provide useful options for solving the current problem. Your stress will definitely drop to acceptable levels — or might disappear briefly. Even if you only have one easy-going, realistic, non-competitive mom to share stories and solutions with that's enough if you become more accepting of  yourself .

Reducing the Stress of Parenting Little KidletsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell me what you think!