In honor of National Family Month (the five-week period from Mother’s Day in May to Father’s Day in June) I’d like to acknowledge the important work that you do as parents! You’re managing finances, work, household chores and dinner each night, helping kids with homework and shuffling them off to various activities. A parent’s work is never done!
Even when things are going smoothly, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with responsibilities. Life’s even more stressful when you’re struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table. Then, what happens when your boss gives you extra work to do, you spill coffee on your favorite shirt and your car overheats on the way to work? Frustrations over stressful situations can cause you to feel angry, become short-tempered with your kids and even lash out at them over little things, and it always leads to regret and even more stress.
Stress is a normal part of life, but frustration and anger doesn’t have to take over your family or hurt your relationships with your children. Here are some tips (adapted from Family Support America’s website) to help you manage stress in a healthy way, and keep anger in check.
- Pause and breathe. Close your eyes and mentally count to 20. Splash some water on your face and take deep breaths. Taking a moment to get calm when you feel stressed will help you not say or do anything that you will regret.
- Reflect on how you feel. Ask yourself, why am I feeling angry, impatient or stressed? Am I upset with my child or am I venting my frustrations? Think about how your words and actions would affect you if you were in your child’s position.
- Take a time out. If you are angry with your child for something they have done, put him or her in time out or take a time out for yourself. Take a walk, call a trusted friend to talk, or write in a journal. When you step away for a minute, you can come back with clear judgement and come up with an appropriate consequence.
- Take care of yourself. Being a parent is hard work, and in order to care for your children, you must also take care of yourself. Take time regularly to have a relaxing bath, read a book, exercise, listen to music or do another activity you enjoy.
- Ask for help. Remember that asking for help is a sign of strength. Ask your family or friends, call the Communities In Schools Site Coordinator, Guidance Counselor or Social Worker at your child’s school, and ask about resources in the community. You can also call the National Parent Helpline at 1-855-4 A PARENT (1-855-427-2736.)
As we wrap up this school year, I want to thank you for all the work you do to help your child be successful and the sacrifices you make to do the challenging job of parenting. Your job is not easy and it’s not always appreciated, but it’s very important. I wish you a safe, happy and stress-managed summer!
Student Success Coach
E. D. Koontz Elementary
Communities In Schools of Rowan County