How to Relieve Parenting Stress: Enjoy Your Kids
I was inspired to write this post on the way home from grocery shopping with Smarty Pants. He wanted to stop and watch a busker playing guitar. Although we were hustling and bustling from place to place, I took the time to sit and watch and listen. It was the best thing I could have ever done. The warm autumn air surrounded us, and Smarty Pants sat on my lap. My stress and feelings of urgency fell from my shoulders like the amber and red leaves falling from the trees around us…
Being a father or parent is a busy job. In addition to busy work schedules, we have long to-do lists, household duties, plus the kids to look after. Add in spending quality time with your wife, and you start wishing the day had 30 hours.
When we are so busy, do we really take the time to enjoy our kids? Usually we don’t…but by not doing so, we are missing out. The best way to relieve the stress and busy-ness from your day is to stop everything else and spend some fun, quality time with your kids. You, your children, and your relationship with your children, will benefit.
When you are stressed, here’s what to do:
Put away your Blackberry, set the newspaper and dirty dishes aside, and go read a book or put a puzzle together with your kid. This is a great stress reliever that lets you find your inner child again, and your kids will adore you for it.
You may also find that this leads to an improvement in your child’s behaviour, as your child will no longer need to act out to get your attention. Spending quality time with your child is one of the best ways to prevent or cure difficult behaviour.
If you find it hard to make time to spend quality time with your kids, then schedule some time with them every day, just as you would schedule any other meeting or appointment. Doing this takes commitment, and it means making your family your number one priority.
If you are too busy with household chores to spend time with your kids, you can easily involve your children over the age of two in helping you. They can help pick out groceries (careful that they don’t just pick out the candies!), set the table for dinner, or sort out the recycling with you.
It is much more important to have one-on-one time and interaction with your child on a daily basis than to take him to Wally World once a year. Give your child the gift of yourself – whether by a bedtime story or a trip to the playground – and you will find you will get a refreshing and important gift in return.
Like I did on that fateful autumn day, you will get the gift of some relief from your stresses, an improved relationship with your child, and the wonder of seeing the world through your child’s eyes.
Join the Jam and share stories of spending quality time with your kids and how it relieved your stress!
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Flickr photo courtesy of Dave-F
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