HKQ Kids

Stress Management Techniques for Parents and Caregivers

We can all agree that, from time to time, being a parent can be stressful. But it can also be one of the most fulfilling responsibilities you will have in your lifetime.

Every day we find ourselves teaching our kids how to socialize with others, cleaning up after them, teaching them how to do the same for themselves, and answering questions for them that we might still not even have the answers for ourselves. Let alone school work, moral and ethical decisions, finances, anticipating their needs, and of course, setting a good example.

A few stress management techniques can help you to stay calm, focused and ready to take on the challenges of parenting!

• Take 10-15 minutes every day to reduce stress. It can be while young children are napping, while older children are in school, or even 15 minutes before everyone wakes up in the morning, before work.  Write in a journal, meditate, take a few minutes to read, or just stretch.

• Try to find some time to exercise, even if it is just a neighborhood walk. It is a great stress-reliever.

• Plan mealtime in advance and prepare as much as you can in advance. Package up individual-sized portions that will be ready to cook in a slow cooker for the day. Fast food and prepared foods may be a quick fix, but it might not be your best choice for vitamins and nutrients.

• Sometimes, you just need a little adult conversation. Take time to chat with a close friend or a significant other, someone that will listen and understands. Or write your thoughts down in a journal.

• Take some time to find a responsible, trained babysitter. Make sure your babysitter is someone that you are comfortable with, and that you have supplied with all the necessary contact information and safety information. Choose someone you can call in case of an emergency situation, or just for an entertaining night out with your significant other. You can find additional tips about hiring a babysitter on HKQKids.org.

• Get a good night’s sleep. Make it a rule that TVs are off and phones are put down about an hour or two before bedtime. Do a little reading if that is something you enjoy.

• When times get tense, take a few good, deep breaths, and remind yourself that it’s just a moment, and you can get through it.

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