On those days when you are at your most stressed it’s hard to handle the kids. They are often oblivious to what’s in your head and their behaviour can be the worst at the time when you are least able to handle it.
The fact is that even if you are stressed, you don’t get time off from being a parent. In fact, you need to park your stress so as not to burden the kids with it. It can be a vicious cycle, you are overwrought, their behaviour ramps up and the result is an argument over nothing. What you need to do is find ways of managing that feeling, it will make life easier for everyone.
The first and most important thing you can do is to see the signs. Know when the tension barometer is rising and act accordingly. If you know you are starting to give in to stress, acknowledge this and then you are in a better place to handle it. Noting you are stressed can be even more effective when you note the times where home life adds to it the most. Is the morning crazy because people can’t find their bags or shoes for example? Then get those things set the night before and remove some stress triggers.
You may simply need to take ten and get away from the situation for a few minutes. This will give you time to clear your head and help to get on track to dealing with things in a better way.
Another way to diffuse your building stress is to get out. Literally. Hit the bike or go for a walk with the kids. Not only will you calm down, instead of having a confrontation, you will actually have a good time together.
When you are stressed out, doing other things to avoid it can seem like the last thing you want to do. Get some stress handling actions in motion however and you can find yourself living life is a much less tense way – and you get to enjoy your kids more – a win win.