Being a parent elicits a wide range of strong emotions, from joy to sorrow. Depending on the situation and the level of support available to you, your sentiments of love, happiness, and pride may swiftly transition into wrath, hatred, or guilt. These emotions are very normal. The majority of parents experience negative emotions from time to time.
It is critical to regulate negative emotions like anger and impatience so you can enjoy parenting and provide a safe and pleasant environment for your child.
Experiencing Negative Feelings
It is common for parents and children to feel weary, unwell, anxious, and irritated. Children can't always tell us how they're feeling, so they 'act out' their emotions through their actions. It can be much more tough to take the time to figure out what your child is trying to tell you when you're under pressure yourself. Consequently, parents may frequently react negatively to their children's behavior. Don’t worry, as the majority of children go through tough periods. Remember that these are likely to be normal stages of growing up and will pass.
When is Parental Stress Likely to Occur?
Parents who have a lot of social support or children with easygoing personalities tend to report feeling better. Individuals who experience any of the situations listed below may experience greater pressure, however, this is not always the case:
- Child with a difficult temperament
- Child with medical, mental or behaviour problems
- Low levels of social support
- Single parenting
- Having a young child
Although we have listed several situations that may place additional burdens on parents, it is important to note that all forms of parental stress are valid regardless of how easy or difficult one's situation may seem.
Suggestions on Dealing With the Stress of Parenting
It's essential to look after your own needs and feelings. A parent cannot continue to provide for their children emotionally and physically while obtaining little or no emotional support themselves, no matter how loving and altruistic they are. You might need to take some time to address the stress from parenting and to process your emotions, especially if you're upset and angry to the point that you think you could lose control.
Here are some actions you could consider to help alleviate the stress that comes with parenting:
- Ask for support. You may also want to attend a parent support group that shares your philosophy and values.
- Take a break from caring for your child. Leave your child with a responsible adult so you may get some rest.
- Seek out like-minded individuals who will support you in your parenting and help you grow as a person and parent.
- You may reward yourself by arranging a self-indulgent activity once a week
- Learn about the development of children, so you could better understand their needs and how to better cope with it.
- Participate in stress management exercises such as yoga and meditation
- Recognize and address underlying issues that may be affecting your relationship with your child, such as financial stress, marital troubles, or work-related issues.
- Talk to a professional, like a psychologist or a counsellor, especially if problems may be too complex to solve on your own.