What is Parenting Stress?
Parenting stress occurs when the demands of being a parent surpass the expected and actual resources available to the parents.
Parenting can be stressful at times, in many different ways. It is a normal part of the parenting experience. It is our reaction to stress and how we cope with it that decides how it affects us and our kids.
Our resources and energy as parents may be somewhat limiting at times, varying with each and every moment, occurrence and eventuality that springs itself upon us. The response and reaction to our role as parents and the stresses of parenting, may perhaps influence the parent : child relationship.
I have heard some people say that stressed out parents = stressed out kids. But that does not necessary apply to all. We all react and respond to stress in our own unique way. Yes, our reactions and responses to a variety of factors can be copied and learned by our children. Children can reflect adult’s emotions. If a child sees how much an adult worries about things, they may grow up being a worrier. Equally, if a child sees an adult happy and carefree, the child will grow up knowing that being happy and carefree is the norm.
So, if we learn as parents to cope with stress in a positive way, and proactively do something about it, then surely we can influence how our kids learn to cope with stress in their lives and most importantly in their futures? It is shocking how much stress and worry young people carry around today. It doesn’t need to be like this, for anyone. Yes, society and our world in general can be stressful, but it can also be amazing, relaxing, beautiful, supporting and nourishing to us. We can in fact create a lot of our stress and stay within the stressed out hamster wheel should we choose to. But, we don’t have to.
Stress is something that we all experience from time to time. Stress is an inbuilt response in our body to what the body perceives as a threat. Our reaction or response to stress over long periods can have a direct impact on our health and wellbeing. Our stress load (amount of stress we’re under) over a long period can affect our hormones, our moods, our appetite, our weight and our relationships. Sometimes, it becomes so overwhelming that it affects our ability to cope with any amount of stress and therefore can have an impact on your life in many negative ways.
Learning to identify firstly what triggers ones stress and secondly, learning stress management techniques and coping strategies, is key to lowering the affects of stress on ones body – physical, emotional and energetic.
So, if you’re worried about how your stress is affecting you, your kids or anyone else around you, take note of it today and ask yourself – am I ready to make positive changes? If so, what one small step can you make today?
Perhaps, just the simple fact of acknowledging that you do get stressed easily can be a great first step.
Taking a few deep breaths, say to yourself…relax…calm…peace (or another word that resonates with you)….and giving yourself the space to do this can be very relaxing. You can do this!
I will be posting in the following weeks how to de-stress easily, ways to relax our bodily stress and tips on how to combat stress through simple dietary and lifestyle changes.
Until next time, keep smiling and deep breathing!
Elaine – EFT & Stress Management Practitioner