Coping skills for stressed working parent
I meet many stressed working parent and my top tip is:
Be Kinder to yourself. Feedback from stressed parents I get is: ‘I went to bed earlier and got up half an hour earlier so I had some time for myself. Then I found the child easier (because you were less stressed and calmer), I was more organised as I had taken care of myself by giving myself more time. Then, the little stuff like putting on the shoes, did not escalate as I probably was a bit more patient.
When you are different, the child responds differently. What you mirror out, they mirror back, so be the calm you want to see, and take time to connect with the child with warmth and understanding. Then you will experience a better behaved child!
Coping skills for stressed parent
Easier mornings for working parent
Difficulties arise when:
- When parents do too much (give everyone a job)
- When family gets up too late
- When things are disorganised
Then the routine gets unpleasant and parents start yelling. Mornings begin the night before, so everything you can possible do the evening before (with the help of your partner and children).
Tools to Stress free mornings:
- Do a “To Do” list and allow children to choose a task
- Table set the night before
- Lunch set up or pre prepared (teach 7 year Old’s to make their own lunch)
- Uniform/clothes chosen & laid out ‘you can choose the red or blue one’
- Gather the bits (PE equipment, sports bag, hair bobble/school ties/runners)
- Get to bed earlier so all get up 20/30 minutes earlier
- Let children choose an alarm clock, and call them only once
- Encourage independence in your child, taking time to show them how to do things for themselves (dress/washing/breakfast/lunch)
- Children’s To do list may be UP –Dress- Eat- Teeth-Bag at door
Catch your child being good
All behaviour reinforces- therefore resolve to ‘Catch ‘them being good, notice what they have done, see the effort and focus on any improvement and tell them. Reward with a star chart, a coin for the next holiday, and working up to a treat at the weekend.
School morning challenges
Difficulties will arise, however when you are rested, when you get up earlier, you have a few minutes to spend with the discouraged child. ‘It’s hard to get up this morning; it’s nice to snuggle in bed. Do you want to get up now or have 5 more minutes? I will put your porridge on so there’s a hot breakfast ready for you. Remember, if you’re ready by 8, you will have your 10 minutes playtime before we leave! Pinkie promise about the five more minutes, what a super girl I have!’
Ironically if you meet resistance in the morning, give your child time as when you offer them time, you will engage their cooperation, whereas stress will just make everything worse!
Help your child become responsible
Spend a few minutes on waking as children need first to feel loved and that makes them secure. The more attention you give the less they demand. Studies show children need 8 minutes of one to one attention from a parent to feel loved, valued and secure. When you make time for them, they respond by meeting your needs (as their need of you) has been met!
Children need your time
You can never spoil your child with time, and many parents are time poor, so even if it means reducing your commitments (children would prefer fewer activities and more time with you). How do you spell love? T.I.M.E and it’s free…