As a parent, you will always want to be the ‘Best Parent in the World’, at least in your child’s eyes. And this is how most of the parents exhaust themselves. They gun for perfection and create a lot of stressful situations in their own lives. From getting the kid ready for school to cooking healthy meals and running around for activity classes, there is so much on a parent’s plate.
We present to you top 10 ideas on stress-free parenting to take the load off yourself and get the calm back in your life:
Don’t Try To Fix Everything:
Don’t put so much on your platter that it becomes difficult to cope up with everything. Don’t try to handle it all and give your kids a chance to figure things out on their own. This also makes them independent and gives them a morale boost when they can find solutions on their own. Learn to say ‘No’ if you have prior commitments and can’t take on any more. This keeps your life simple and uncomplicated. Also, it is completely fine to give yourself a break every now and then.
Maintain Consistency And Routine:
When parents are not consistent with their rules and don’t follow a routine, kids tend to be more confused. As a parent, you must always try and keep things as normal and organized for your kids as you can. For example, sticking to mealtimes, fixed time for playing, time for studying, etc. will help in keeping things under control. The kid would know that nothing good will come out of arguing for more playtime when the rules are set.
Make Clean-up Easy
If you have too many drawers and too many rules about which toy needs to go where, expect your children to resent clean-ups. You will have to do it yourself. Let the small toys be dumped in a large laundry bag. Keep the sorting for weekends.
Messy play can be encouraged outdoors. Give them all the paint and sand they like, in your backyard. At times, paint can be replaced with water painting which will dry off in the sun, on its own. Use aprons, sippy cups, non-spill containers and all the luxuries available to reduce clean-up time.
Make Sure Everyone Gets Enough Sleep:
The importance of a good night sleep cannot be ruled out. When the whole family gets a good sleep, you are less cranky, more tolerant and recharged to take on the day. On the contrary, when you are sleep deprived, you tend to be mentally drained, experience mood swings and lack focus. A regular and strict sleep cycle goes a long way in reducing the stress from your life and coping with everyday challenges.
Make Weekends Special:
This can be your ‘cheat day’ of sorts where you can relax and let your kids enjoy. You can use this day to make your bond stronger by going out on picnics or say playing a sport together, having a Pizza Day, or something as simple as watching cartoons together. When you follow this, the kids look forward to this special day and are all motivated and rejuvenated for the week that follows. They will reciprocate by following your rules on a busy work day.
Push the Chores to Nighttime:
Simple everyday chores like backpacking, taking out the uniforms for school the next day, etc. can and should be taken care of in the night itself. This almost eliminates the morning rush and leaves little or no room for any panicky situations in the morning. The lesser responsibilities to be dealt with in the morning, the better it is for you. The kids can also imbibe these good qualities of being organized and disciplined from a young age.
Identify The Cause Of Stress:
Spend a little time introspecting what is the main cause of your stress. See how you can work on it and try to eliminate it. Try to find solutions. You can also incorporate healthy habits like meditating and exercising in your daily routine that can help you overcome stress. Even a few minutes every day can help you loosen up and tackle the problems at hand with more grace and ease. Make a plan and prioritize your chores to be in control of your day.
Be A Good Example:
Your kids look up to you and consider you as their role model. They are always observing and learning from you. Kids tend to mirror your actions and tone, so if you find yourself yelling and arguing or showing a lot of frustration, they will pick up on these nuances and try to imitate you to deal with a situation. Make a conscious effort to be more polite when you are around your kids.
Give hot breakfasts a break:
Don’t try to fit in too much in your morning routine. Save the yum yet length recipes for the weekend. On a weekday, you can teach your kids to make their own sandwich, toast or cornflakes bowl. Choose healthy over junk, without an inch of doubt. However, quick recipes or one pot dishes are good enough.
Parenting is not about gunning for perfection. Forgive yourself for not making breakfast or not ironing the school clothes on some days. Let your kids spill on the floor, create a morning mess or choose their outfit for the day. The more you argue, the more stressed you will be. Expect the day to go haywire. Expect unpleasant twists and turns. Don’t sit down and beat yourself for being a bad mom. Let go. It happens.
We hope these tips can help you manage your parenting routine well and you are able to deal with parenthood in a much healthier and happier way. The more stress-free you are, the better you will be able to take on life’s challenges head-on.