Stress is an uninvited guest, yet an inevitable part of our life. Everyone deals with stress, but we all can choose how we want to deal with it. Parenting is not easy, and when you are a stressed parent, it shows on the child and affects their behavior. In the end, we cannot control our children and their way of life. But we can control how we react and behave when they are around.
There are several examples of how children can be seen mimicking their parents' stress responses. If the parent responds to frustration by shouting, the child is likely a screamer and yells when things are not in control.
In contrast, when the parent acknowledges the stress but acts out on it in many other ways, such as regulating their emotions and talking it out rather than yelling, children adopt it and begin to behave the same way.
Regulating oneself is a complex emotional practice. We are all humans; being a calm parent doesn't mean that you are always calm. It only means that you are good at regulating them. A parent-child relationship is one filled with moments and memories. And a journey with a handful of learnings and attempts.
Be aware of your stress
Know your stress, make it clear to your body that you are stressed. Once you are in the know about your stress, you can work on calming yourself faster. There will be days when both your child, personal life, and professional life needs you. And this can go on for days before you realize you haven't paid any attention to yourself. The lack of self-care mostly hits at the end of an exhaustive journey. To prevent that, we can practice the "take five" method- take five slow and deep breaths, and notice how your body is doing under stress. This method can be used with your crying child too.
Stress is unhealthy if not dealt with well. And, when our children watch us deal with stress in an unhealthy manner, before they realize it, they are doing the same too. When we regulate emotions and cope with stress, children are learning a valuable lesson.
Simplify your life
Take in only as much as you can chew. Most of us don't realize the toll of executing these tasks while taking them up. Filling up your schedule entirely with "to-do's" is an easy ticket to stress. Take something off your plate and say no. Being a parent, prioritize both your and your child's duties equally
Aim for imperfections
We are humans, and we possibly cannot finish each task in perfection. We have children and our own responsibilities to manage. Children model us, and we are the first humans to interact with them. They copy everything we do, so we mustn't pass on unhealthy behaviors. Let's normalize imperfections and failures. Let's calm down for our own and our children's good