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Managing Parental Stress

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Even if children are a great treasure for the family, they tend to be the source of stress. We want them to turn into fine human beings just like we are. But this doesn’t happen within a snap of a finger. It would take a long time to achieve it. As parents, we have to worry about many facts that tend to create a lot of parental stress. Our stress is increasing daily as our children grow up, learn new things and tend to live their lives their own way.

Being a parent is a challenging thing. We’re responsible for raising and helping our children from all stages of their lives. They can move on into adulthood but we still make sure that they are doing well. As a paradox, we need to learn how to be less of a parent, to reduce parental stress!

Most parents want to protect their children from the world. Yet, there would come a time when they would explore the world. You might be feeling worried at first, but let them learn from what they need to experience. This doesn’t mean that we should always keep our eyes on our children. We must allow them to be imperfect to learn in their own way.

Helpful Resources for Reducing Parental Stress

Even if our children may become rebellious for a while, we must keep our stress under control. They’re probably trying to act in a way that may shock us.

Keep in mind the following things and you may be able to reduce your parental stress:

– Teenagers are not perfect, neither are adults

– Teenagers are always eager to go their own way

– Try to figure out what is going on in their heads

– Do not forget that we were their age once…

There are a lot of helpful resources that can help you to get through parental stress. It can support groups, books, or websites that provide tips and insights into raising a child.

By managing our own parental stress, we allow our children to grow up and keep our emotions under control. Rather than letting it control our lives, we should focus our energy on raising our children.

Conventional and Unconventional Stress-Relievers

You may hear about all kinds of popular stress management techniques. But here are the original and creative stress relievers that would help you to feel more relaxed.

Playing With Kids

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Have fun, play and interact with your kids! If you have small children, do not just supervise them, it’s better to really play with them! This can be a great diversion from your stress, and the children will love it, too. Walk and talk with your older children, shop and talk with your teens and the parental stress is gone!

Maintain a Clean and Organized Living Space

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Cleaning your house and getting organized at home is a very important task. A well-decorated and comfortable home can be your safe haven from daily stress.


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Gardening can be a relaxing time that will reward you for delicious organic food or a gorgeous yard. It can be a great stress reliever, while you get a source of vitamin D from the sunlight.

Singing Loudly

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Since we have 7 musicians in our home, we can say that loud vocalization can release tension from the body. A great way to start the day is by singing in the shower and in the car.

Put on Some Music

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Listening to good music as you get ready for your day will create positive energy and a soothing sense of peace. You can incorporate music into your other habits, such as a morning walk or journaling.

Stretch in the Shower

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The hot water will loosen up your muscles, but the act of stretching will help you to release stored tension. It enables you to start the day feeling more relaxed and ready to handle your everyday jobs and problems.

Eat a Balanced Breakfast

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You may start the day by drinking coffee, but do not skip breakfast, known as ‘the most important meal of the day’! Breakfast should consist of fruits and protein. These elements can balance your blood sugar levels, giving you the energy to face the day.

Drink Green Tea

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Green tea is a delicious and healthy alternative to coffee. Drinking a warm cup of tea helps us to feel nurtured and to prepare for the day ahead.

Organize Your Time

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Keep a schedule and learn to say no to urgent and excessive demands on your time. With this, you’ll have more time to do the important things in your life. You’ll also have time to do things that you enjoy, like raising your children. Believe me, what I write here is not just a theory. I have nine children and I know what I am talking about.

Write in Your Journal

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Keeping a journal or blog has a lot of health and stress management benefits. It can help you keep focused on the essential issues of your life. It also lets you process your negative emotions and solve your problems.

Morning Walk

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A morning walk can get you ready for the day. It lowers your stress level and helps you to have a better night’s sleep. And if you bring a dog with you, as my wife and I do, you will totally enjoy your walk!

Cultivate a Supportive Social Group

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By having school-age children, you can form a social group within the school. They would be likely the people who share the same stress as you have. With that in common, you’ll be able to open up with them. Make a commitment to meet more people. It can develop your relationships with yourself and your kids. And you’ll find that your efforts to be rewarding.

Take Care of Your Body

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“Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John1:2). An unhealthy body can cause a lot of stress. So taking care of your body is a must to decree your stress. It can be achieved by having enough sleep, doing regular exercise, eating healthy foods and getting massages.

Renew Your Spirit

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If you leave the church behind for other “urgent and important” activities, try to go back to church. If you have never been there, you should try it. Nothing to lose, life to gain! Do not be ignorant! I find real-life, entirely free of stress, every Sunday in my church and in every Christian church I visit!


By doing the abovementioned practices, your parental stress can decrease. You could also handle typical problems well. This will lead you to a happier and healthier family lifestyle.

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Strategies for Resolving Conflict with Your Children

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Conflicts between parents and children have gone on since time began. As a child starts to learn how to talk, it seems they have likewise learned how to say ‘no.’ And they often say it often about everything from bedtime to eating their vegetables. What’s even more maddening is when they fight you on things you know they do want, like a trip to the park. It begins to seem as though children exist to be contrary.

Thankfully there’s help available. Below is a list of four strategies that will help you resolve conflicts with your child. What’s even more amazing is that these techniques work well whether you’re dealing with a toddler or a teenager.

  1. Don’t get sucked into the tension of the moment. Conflict with children quickly escalates. One demand becomes another until you’re so wrapped up in the whirlpool that you can no longer think or make a rational decision. At that moment you need to step back and take some time away. Take a deep breath and be calm. It might be time to let someone else watch the kids while you step outside and take a walk.
    Walking away from a conflict with your child is something of an art. The last thing you want is for the child to think you’re not listening to what they have to say. But every argument reaches that point where no one is saying anything new. It’s about here that things start to get personal, and indeed uncomfortable. That is the point of taking a break. But even this takes skill. Excuse yourself quietly. It’s not the time for a dramatic exit. Whatever the case, you’re going to have to let your own emotions steady out before trying to help your child to calm theirs.
  1. Calm down. Clearing your head will help you to be both calmer and more rational. Once you’ve removed yourself from the situation, then take a few minutes for yourself. Breathe deeply. Practice mindfulness or even a lot of prayer until you’re in a better place and able to be in control of yourself. Find that inner peace.

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  1. Become an active listener. When your child is upset about something, before assuming they’re wrong, ask them to explain why they’re upset. Then listen to their answer. Ask questions. Clarify. And then repeat back to them what you thought you heard them say. It might be that they have a legitimate concern. Or it might be they’ve misunderstood the situation completely. Either way, you’re now in a better position to help find a resolution to the situation.
  2. Practice empathy. Realize that there might be something more going on with your child than there appears to be on the surface. That will not only help you to calm down, but also might show you a possible solution, or at least a new way to address your child in a way that’s respectful and more compassionate. Keep in mind that your insights might well show you that the problem is with you.

    Source: Pixabay

  3. Empower your child. Allow them to make some of their own decisions. For example, rather than getting involved in a long fight over what to wear, allow your toddler to choose at least part of their outfit. It’s about learning how to pick your battles, saving the fights for the things that matter.
  4. Reconcile. Try apologizing. Recognize that it does take two people to get into an argument. Apologizing acknowledges the part that you’ve played in the situation and invites your child to do the same. This is a great way to teach your child how to resolve conflicts in a healthy way.
  5. Reconcile. Try apologizing. Recognize that it does take two people to get into an argument. Apologizing acknowledges the part that you’ve played in the situation and invites your child to do the same. This is a great way to teach your child how to resolve conflicts in a healthy way.

    Source: Pixabay

    You don’t have to live in dread of a conflict with your child. Having conflict is inevitable. What you do need is to learn how to take back control when the conflicts happen. How you deal with conflict says a great deal about you as a parent.

    Remember, it’s up to you to decide how you want to react to these situations. Being able to keep your cool in trying situations is an invaluable skill and one well worth cultivating, especially in parenting.

    By staying calm and practicing these steps and you’ll soon find the road back to a peaceful resolution with your child, regardless of their age. And in the process teaching them the invaluable lesson of dealing with conflicts in a healthy way.

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So You Have A Picky Eater?

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If you have a picky eater, mealtime can make you feel like you want to pull your hair out. It is frustrating for parents to watch their child only fiddle with their food at dinner or not even touch it, claiming they “don’t like it.” So what happens? Thirty minutes later guess who is hungry? You guessed it. Your little picky eater.

Jamie’s mother was concerned about Jamie’s lack of interest in food. She stated, “Jamie never wants to eat anything I fix for dinner. What can I do to encourage Jamie to eat the meals that I have prepared?” I came up with the following ten tips for her. You may find them useful as well.

TIP: INVOLVE JAMIE. You can have Jamie help with planning the menu or meal preparation. Kids are less likely to “turn up their nose” at something, they had a hand in.

TIP: PLACE A LIMIT ON JAMIE. Let’s think that Jamie is playing with her food at dinner and not really interested in eating it. Mom says, “Jamie, I will be serving breakfast at 7:00 a.m. try to eat enough to make it to then. You decide how much you will need. Oh! We will be clearing the table in _____ minutes.”

When Jamie comes to you later that evening complaining of being hungry. With an understanding tone, remind her that you will be serving breakfast at 7:00 a.m. as usual. Jamie will most likely be persistent about getting something else to eat. It is important that you follow through with the limit you have placed. Otherwise, Jamie learns that you do not mean what you say and you lose your credibility with her. You may have to tell her several times that you will be “serving breakfast at 7:00” until she realizes that you’re not going to give in.

Jamie: “Mom I’m hungry. Can I have some cookies?”

Mom: “Kids who eat all their dinner are welcome to have a snack after.”

Jamie: “But mom I’m really hungry.”

Mom: “I know Jamie. I would be hungry too if I ate as little as you did for dinner, but don’t worry I will be fixing a big breakfast at 7:00 a.m.”

Jamie: “What? Do you want me to starve?”

Mom: “I’ll be serving breakfast at 7:00 Jamie”

Jamie: “This isn’t fair.”

Mom: “I’ll be serving breakfast at 7:00 Jamie”

Jamie: “Fine!”

TIP: NOTICE THE EXCEPTIONS. Call attention to the times when Jamie eats most of her meals. “Wow! Jamie, you ate everything on your plate. Good job. You should be proud of yourself.” Too often, we only notice the negative aspects of our children’s behavior and that is what we reinforce with our negative attention.

Source: Pixabay

TIP: CATER TO JAMIE’S DESIRE TO BE “BIG”. “ You won’t like this halibut, Jamie. Usually, adults are the only ones who like halibut.” Guess what may just become Jamie’s new favorite food?

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TIP: PROVIDE VARIOUS CHOICES AROUND MEALTIME. “Would you rather sit by me or by mommy?” “You can eat with a fork or a spoon which would you prefer?” “Do you think you will need more potatoes or is that enough?” “Have as much as you think you will need to make it to dinner.” “Milk or juice?” “Should we eat at 7:00 or 7:30?”

Source: Pixabay

TIP: BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL. “You know dear, although spaghetti is not my favorite, I will eat it because I know how hard you worked to make it.”

Source: Pixabay

TIP: EXPOSURE. Encourage Jamie to try a variety of foods early on in her life before she knows anything different. Some children may have never thought eating liver was gross if it hadn’t been for what someone else had set their expectation to be.

Source: Pixabay

TIP: PROVIDE SOME FLEXIBILITY. Let’s remember there are some foods that certain children can not stomach. If Jamie has a problem with spinach, but it is part of that particular meal, try to have other items. This way she can get her fill up on once everyone has their share. But, this should be the exception rather than the rule.

Try letting Jamie dip her food in sauces, dressings, syrups, and ketchup. It may make them taste better to her.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

TIP: MAKE MEALTIME ENJOYABLE. Try to talk about things other than eating at mealtime. Dinner is a great time to talk to Jamie about how her day went. During breakfast, you can discuss what everyone has planned for the day.

Anyone pitching in to help prepare a meal can teach Jamie an important family value. An added bonus for children is that it can teach them important skills. It can be about thinking skills like timing, measuring, colors, comparisons, counting, and cause and effect.

Be creative in the ways that you dish up Jamie’s food. Mold her mashed potatoes into a volcano. Then, cut her meat or sandwich into bite-sized pieces. Poke toothpicks in them and layout veggies in the shapes of letters or numbers. You can also use a drop or two of food coloring to make it more interesting.

Source: Pixabay

TIP: LIMIT SNACKING. For children to be hungry enough to eat a meal they usually need to go two or three hours without food. However, it is difficult for children to go from noon to 6:00 p.m. without food. A nutritious snack after school would be fine to get Jamie to dinner, still having her appetite.

Source: Pexels

TIP: RECALL PAST SUCCESSES. Think back to the times when Jamie had eaten her meals. What were you doing? Were you placing a lot of emphasis on her need to eat her food? What was she doing? What were you eating? What happened before the meal? These kinds of questions may help you realize some of the things you or Jamie is already doing which assist her in becoming a better eater.

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Six Ideas To Help You Discipline Your Kid

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Got a kid? Love him or her? Of course, you do. So when he or she misbehaves on a consistent basis, what’s the best way to administer discipline?

Well, as you may be aware, there is a wide range of thoughts on this subject. One school of thought teaches hands-off to let the children figure it all out on their own. No punishment or reward systems. Another extreme says that the Singapore model of “canning” people for littering is a good one.

Most of us find ourselves between these two nutty positions. And the word “nutty” is being charitable. If you don’t think so, then stop reading. You’re a lost cause and should find yourself in a nice rubber room so that you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else.

Every child responds to anything in different ways. Some kids have a very high “pain” threshold. They can take whatever penalties you exact as they stubbornly refuse to do what they should do. There are others who can be easily motivated by various token systems.

So how do you find out what method of discipline will work for your kid(s)?

In a word: experiment! Here are six ideas for proceeding.
#1 – Put on your “scientist hat.”Research what’s out there. No author knows your kid better than you do. Many research studies can lead to various strategies for your kids. So knowing what’s been done before is a very good strategy in and of itself.

#2 – Once you know what you can do, you can now start interacting with your kid(s). Learn to differentiate discipline and abuse as we live in a reality wherein two can be seen as the same thing. So be careful as you try different discipline ideas.

Important note: Remember your main goal in doing these ideas. If you want to raise good and intelligent children, be patient to see if one thing applies to your children.

#3 – When you find something that seems to work, don’t think you can finally relax. Don’t confuse short term hits with long term success. Your child may be responding well to your discipline. But when it wears off, your child may very well revert to the old behaviors that you tried to change. The tough phase will last for more than a few weeks. So give things at least 3-6 weeks to see if the changes are enduring.

#4 – Tweak before you make major changes in your efforts. For example, suppose you are rewarding your kid(s) with pizza at the end of the week if they do something right. You assume that they’re responding to novelty rather than the measures themselves. Rather than junking the measures, tweak them a bit to determine if your suspicion is valid. For example, you might vary the food rewards. Say, “Look – if you do good things, you get to pick what we have for Friday dinner.” You might be on the right track and tweaking gives you a chance to really find out.

#5 – If tweaking doesn’t work, then, by all means, try new approaches.

#6 – Finally, be humble enough to know that you might need professional support. This can be in the form of a therapist or counselor. You’ve got to be careful here because these professionals have different competency levels on how to deal with your case. Some would suggest certain drugs as the initial therapeutic intervention for your child. You have the right to be skeptical in such situations. Listen to your own inner voice here. No matter how good the intentions are, many therapists simply get things wrong. If the one you’ve initially selected isn’t right for your child or your family, try another.

There are also organizations that can help you find a decent therapist that you need. America and many other nations are rich in resources to help families. Look into them if your problems grow too intense for you to handle on your own.

Finally, use common sense. It may sound strange but you’ll be the only one to make the final decision. Regardless of any professional help, books, or online forums that you encounter, you’ll be responsible for your child. Use the best intelligence you can and proceed with caution.

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