Are You Stressed? Your Kids are Probably Feeling It, Too

How Stress Impacts Parenting

Repairing the Effects of Stress on Your Children

  1. Forgive yourself. Occasional stress-related outbursts are inevitable. We’re all human. It’s crucial to acknowledge when you have a stressful and challenging day that has limited your capacity and bandwidth to manage the situation the best you could and to forgive yourself. And, of course, it’s also important to put work into learning the skills and tools to reframe your stress into something more manageable. If you need a support system, join the Conscious Parenting Revolution Facebook group.
  2. Apologize for outbursts. A genuine apology goes a long way. If you completely lost your temper, tell your child that you are sorry and acknowledge the overreaction. Admit that you were triggered and overreacted and that you will try to do better next time. It’s important to ask for consideration from your child as well, so they can learn how to also be aware of your needs. For example, “Would you be willing to put your shoes away next time because I’m worried I will trip and fall” or “I could really use your help in cleaning up and making sure the house is tidy. Would you be willing to help me with that?” Kids understand more than we give them credit for and generally do want to be considerate of others.
  3. Acknowledge that it’s not about them. Do your kids know why you’re feeling so upset? Understanding breeds empathy, so share what’s happening in your life. Help your kids grasp that they aren’t solely responsible for your frayed nerves.
  4. Talk to them about stress. Transform an imperfect situation into a teaching moment for your kids. Start a conversation about the effects of stress, encouraging them to identify stressful situations in their own life. Discuss how everyone in the family can effectively handle tense moments.
  5. Ask for help and be a supportive partner. Recognize when you are stressed, will likely overreact and be triggered, and ask for support and help. On days when you’re feeling good and your co-parent is struggling, step in and take over. Offer to take on the mental load so they have time and space to recover. Supporting each other models healthy relationships for your children.

Strategies for Long-Term Stress Reduction

  • Recognize when you’re at low capacity. Don’t be afraid to call a time out for yourself. Take a deep breath, go for a walk, and acknowledge that you’re having a tough day. Let go of stressful obligations like folding the laundry or battling the kids over screen time. You deserve space to recharge.
  • Reconnect with your family. Take the time to voice your needs to your children. How will they know what you need if you don’t tell them? Ask for their help brainstorming ways to support each other.
  • Find resources on parenting during stressful times. Parenting is a constant learning experience. It’s okay to admit that you need help becoming the parent you want to be. Check out our private FB group for access to a ton of parenting resources (and great advice).

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Katherine Sellery

Katherine Sellery

Katherine Sellery, CEO and Founder of Conscious Parenting Revolution, helps individuals minimize misunderstandings and melt-downs in order to communicate.