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Verified by Psychology Today

Janet Hicks Ph.D.


How Can I Reduce Parenting Stress?

Five things parents can do to reduce parenting stress.

Being a parent can be stressful. As much as you love your children, trying to accomplish everything you have to do while, often, putting your own needs last, can take a toll. Following are some things to consider so you feel less stressed and better able to parent.

First, give yourself permission to take care of yourself. Your well-being can also affect your child’s well-being. Stressed-out parents can’t offer their best.

Many of the things you feel you must do right now can wait until tomorrow without repercussions. Look at your list of “to do’s” and remove those that are not pressing.

Second, practice an activity that reduces stress. Some parents participate in mindfulness, muscle relaxation, yoga, exercise, journaling, or other individualized activities aimed at improving wellness.

Third, give yourself permission to participate in activities you enjoy. Parents often feel they must sacrifice their own pleasures to raise children.

Remember happy families require parents and children who balance their needs and desires with one another. Find some activities you and your child both enjoy and take some time for yourself each week if possible.

Fourth, if you feel isolated, it can help to get to know other parents. You can enjoy some adult conversation while your children play together.

It often helps to know that other parents also feel overwhelmed and stressed at times. Groups of parents can be a great support for one another.

Fifth, change the way you think. We often elevate our own stress by focusing on the negative aspects of our day-to-day lives. When a negative thought pops into your head, challenge the thought with something more positive.

Your children will only be little for a few years, and this time will never come again. Cherish the time you have with them while it is here!