Monday October 21, 2019
There are a lot of books and advice out there on the dos and don’ts of being a good parent. But one of the biggest things everyone agrees on is that losing your temper with your child can be a bad thing. But that’s often easier said than done.
No one wants to lose their cool and start yelling in front of their kids, but sometimes the stress just reaches a boiling point. One of the best things you can do is learn to be a relaxed parent. This doesn’t mean you’re going to be a slacker that lets your child get away with everything. It just means that you need to let some of the tension and angst go.
Here’s how you can relax a bit as a parent:
- Don’t expect perfection — Nobody’s perfect. Sure, we like to think our kids are, but if we hold them up to an unrealistic expectation, we are going to be disappointed when they come up short. Instead, set realistic goals for your child. And when they don’t reach that goal, take several deep breaths and then show them how they can do better next time. This is true from everything like earning good grades to doing chores like the dishes.
- Don’t do it all — On the other end of the spectrum is the parent who coddles their child and keeps them from having to do anything. You know the mentality — “it’s just easier if I do it myself.” When you take this attitude, you’re just adding more and more stress by having to do everything yourself. If you want to be a relaxed parent, you are going to have to let the kids shoulder some responsibility.
- Exercise — This one is key. Exercise helps on many levels, from releasing endorphins that help you cope with stress to just letting you get out anger and tension that may be boiling over. Ideally, exercising with your kids is a great way to get them into healthier activities. But if you have the option, leave them with your spouse once in a while so you can get in a workout without any distractions.
- Me time — The last (and most important) rule to being a relaxed parent is to spend some time for yourself. This doesn’t have to be every day for hours at a time. But at least a few times a week you should do something that you like…take a bath, read a book, meditate, sit and watch mindless TV. Whatever it is, enjoy yourself and relax so that the stress can dial down and you don’t blow up when it’s back to parenting.
Being a relaxed parent is a tall order. But if you take a few messages to heart and set your expectations appropriately, you too can become stress-free.