We all carry around some amount of stress in our daily lives no matter who we are and what we do. For many, the hours spent with family members during the holidays feel like pure stress, the bills continue to stack up, there’s no money between paychecks, and your work/life balance is overwhelming. Sound familiar?
No matter our stress levels, our most important job is to our keep our kids safe. According to ChildHelp, here are some tips for handling stress before it elevates to a point where you begin to take it out on your children:
1. Place a crying baby safely in their crib or bassinet (already fed and changed) and leave the room for a breath of fresh air or a quick shower, if possible.
2. Change the activity that you and your child are doing. Take a walk or read a book with your child.
3. Take several deep breaths and count to 20 before you say or do anything.
4. Stop and think about how your child ‘s feelings might be hurt if you say what you are about to say.
ChildHelp agrees that we all want to do a good job of parenting, so here are some long-term ways to do just that:
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1. Take care of yourself–exercise, rest, and eat right.
2. Talk with family and friends. Share your experiences and learn from other parents.
3. Talk with your child’s doctor. There may be a medical reason for your child’s difficult behavior.
4. Talk to your doctor. There may be a medical explanation for the way you feel.
5. Ask for help when you need it. Choose a mature, responsible babysitter whom you and your child know well.
6. Learn more about parenting. Books, magazines, and the internet are filled with information about raising children and can help you make sense of their behaviors.
There is help out there for you no matter what; it just takes some time to find it.
Contact the Parenting WARMLINE at Family Resources, 412-363-1702, for more information and support or visit the website at: www.familyresourcesofpa.org.
For more information on safety initiatives at Children’s, visit www.chp.edu/injury-prevention.
Updated Sept. 14, 2020
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