You are go­ing nowhere

Deal­ing with parental stress

The Irish Times - Tuesday - Health - - Health | Parental Burnout -

No mat­ter how tempt­ing it can be on oc­ca­sions to walk out the front door and leave your squab­bling chil­dren to their own de­vices, quit­ting is not an op­tion. This is one work­place that can­not be swapped for an­other, which you think would be less fre­netic and where you might feel more ap­pre­ci­ated. Some pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures would be the same as to counter pro­fes­sional burn out, such as self-care, try­ing to get more sleep and ex­er­cise and to eat healthily. Other tips in­clude:

1 Man­age the lens through which you see par­ent­ing and ad­just it to give your­self a break, ad­vises Col­man Noc­tor of St Patrick’s Men­tal Health Ser­vices. If your ex­pec­ta­tions are re­al­is­tic, you will be less dis­ap­pointed.

2 Don’t get sucked into the “at­ten­tion econ­omy”, he adds. Ev­ery­body is vy­ing for your at­ten­tion, so you need to pri­ori­tise.

3 Learn to recog­nise stress, see where it’s build­ing and be aware of how it changes the way you deal with peo­ple, says Geral­dine Kelly of One Fam­ily.

4 Try to have the fam­ily work­ing more as a team, she sug­gests, get­ting chil­dren in­volved in run­ning the house­hold.

5 Where there are stressed par­ents, there are stressed chil­dren, so take op­por­tu­ni­ties to re­group and slow down to­gether, through walks in na­ture or snug­gling on the sofa.

6 Take stock and en­joy the mo­ment, says Rita O’Reilly of Par­ent­line. “Chil­dren don’t need an ac­tiv­ity ev­ery day of the week – look at sub­sti­tut­ing it with fam­ily time in the park.”

7 It’s okay to ask – that’s the theme of Na­tional Par­ents’ Week that started on Sep­tem­ber 18th. Whether it’s prac­ti­cal help or ad­vice you need, don’t hes­i­tate to ask fam­ily, friends, neigh­bours or ring Par­ent­line on 1890-927277.

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