Being a parent is an extremely difficult, albeit rewarding job. Every day there is something new and unexpected thrown at you and you are somehow expected, without any real training, to know exactly what to do. When you first come home from the hospital with your new baby the daunting feeling of the task before you finally hits you and the stress is sometimes incredibly overwhelming. If you can manage to reduce parenting stress you will find that being a parent is an amazing opportunity and probably one of the best feelings in the world.
Children grow at an alarming rate! When they are born and you experience the baby stage, you may not notice at the time because you are too tired how quickly this stage passes. Each day your baby does something or learns something new. Before you know it the toddler stage is upon you and temper tantrums strike. Overnight your cute, innocent child is replaced by a stranger who throws a fit at the drop of the hat and often for reasons unknown. Getting through the toddler stage can be a challenge, but if you learn a few coping techniques you can reduce parenting stress and find the sweet child you thought had disappeared for good.
One of the first ways you can handle your children when their behavior gets difficult is to distract them from the reason they are getting upset. Children are amazing in this way, unlike adults who get so focused on something that we tend to obsess, children can easily be taken away from a situation and forget about why they were upset in the first place. This is sometimes the best technique for dousing the flames of a fire before it gets out of control.
The second way to help reduce parenting stress is to keep a schedule. Children need structure and by knowing what comes next during the day they are more likely to follow your routine without difficulty. Having a set naptime is also very important because if naps are late or skipped entirely, this can have a huge impact on their mood and cause many unwanted tantrums.
The third option for helping to keep the home a happy place is to have fun activities to keep your children engaged and busy. Being bored is often the biggest reason children act out, if they have something to keep them entertained and occupied they will be less likely to get upset about not getting their way. Of course tantrums during your activities can happen, perhaps they have not learned the art of sharing, or they simply want to do something other than what you’ve planned. These situations can be handled calmly by offering your child an alternative; it is amazing how letting them pick between two options lets them feel like they are in control without actually taking the control away from you.
These simple ways of creating structure in your home and using distraction to cope with tantrums can help reduce parenting stress considerably. And by doing that you will be able to enjoy your children more and really pay attention to the precious time you have with them. Because although certain moments may seem to last forever, their childhood will ultimately fly by in a flash and you will soon be whisking them off to college before returning to your empty next. Don’t let small tantrums and unwanted behavior get in the way of your time with your children, stay calm and have patience and you will reap the benefits by experiencing some wonderful moments with your amazing little ones.