Parenting Post – Linda Marten MSW

Important Ideas to REDUCE STRESS with Children

1) Getting too emotional or overly controlling with your child makes it harder for
your child to change.
Children can trigger our emotions.
A parent’s reaction can hold a problem in place.
Remember: “When I’m angry, it’s about me, not my child.”
No one is responsible for my anger. I am.

2) Try not to blow things out of perspective.
Ask yourself:
“How important is it?”
“What’s the worst that can happen?”
“What’s my part in all this?” (drop blame, tell the truth)

3) Many times, before your child will change, you have to change.
Fantasy: “If only my child would change, life would be better and all would be good.”
Instead: Focus in on yourself to see what needs to be changed.
What’s triggering you?
What are your boundaries or limits? How can you set them with care?
How can you build bridges, instead of walls?
Say: “Tell me more” or “What does that mean to you?” or “And then what.”

4) Your own thinking is the greatest cause of your own stress.
We can harness our own stress even if others don’t change.
Step back, breathe, calm yourself down, take a break and try a 20 min. walk,
& go back calm and refreshed.

5) Focus on your child’s behavior, not your child.
When angry our thinking changes.
Try accepting the child as he or she is now.
Your child is not their behavior.

6) Never take your child’s behavior personally.
You are not a failure if your child . . .
Detach with love, your child is not you.

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