Sometimes We Start Arguing As A Family Over Schoolwork What Can We Do To Reduce This
Sarah Fox, Head of Ofsted & Safeguarding, gives us her advice:
If like many parents, you feel like the pressures of homework often end in tears , you may find the following top tips to help you to feel more under control!
- Identify the problem
Lots of children have anxieties surrounding schoolwork but talking openly with your child about what they are struggling within particular will help overcome this. Is time management an issue? Does your child always leave things to the last minute? Is it the pressure from the teacher or a looming exam pushing them over the edge? Or are they finding the work too challenging and need a bit of extra time or maths and English tuition support? Getting to the root of the issue is really important as it means you can work together to find a solution.
- Create a schedule
Sit down with your child to work out when and how they will manage their schoolwork. If they come up with the schedule and how they would like to reward themselves with free time, they are more likely to stick with it. Lots of children benefit from routine and planning, so reminding your child in the morning that we have agreed tonight you complete your maths before football keeps them feeling prepared and in control.
- Ensure the environment is conducive to learning
- Offer choices
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Theoretical Model And Hypotheses
Substantive model for the relationships checked here.
The letter H indicates relationships between concepts which are later described as the research hypotheses.
The following hypotheses were put forward:
H1: Discrepancy is positively correlated with the difficulty experienced by parents in the parenting situationthis is a hypothesis put forth explicitly by Gurycka in her work.
This means that the larger the discrepancy between the objectives assumed by the parent and the childs current level of development, the greater the difficulties the parent experiences in the relationship with the child.
H2: Difficulty experienced by the parent in the parenting situation correlates positively with a negative representation of the child and its tasks in the parents mindthis hypothesis was put forth explicitly by Gurycka in her works.
The representation of the child is formed in the course of interaction with that child as a result of experiences in the relationship with the child, but it may also result from the general perception of the role of the parent and the child.
H3: The representation of the child correlates positively with combating stress by applying pressure. This hypothesis was put forth explicitly by Gurycka .
The aim of applying pressure by the parent is to force the child to surrender either by coercion or by punishment.
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Seek Opportunities For Fun
Choose activities to do with your kids that make you happy. Youll feel better about yourself and will deal better with your kids, says Dr. Wertman.
- Love sports? Coach or cheer for your childs team .
- Are you a bookworm? Read to your kids, then discuss the book. Its an opportunity to be positive, to encourage and to enjoy a unique closeness, he notes.
My biggest joy was always looking for the laughter and finding the smile. If that happened, I considered my day a success.
Be Patient With Yourself
Raising children is both challenging and rewarding. Feelings of frustration and exhaustion can occur. Its normal. Most individuals will experience parental burn out. But how you treat yourself matters.
Allow yourself to feel your feelings, Horta-Granados explains. You do not have to face everything alone, or be a super mom or dad. Remember that youre a human. Youre vulnerable. You cannot do it all, and be patient with yourself. Be kind.
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Having Open Conversations About Mental Health
If youre feeling limited as a parent due to your mental health condition or parenting a child whos a received diagnosis, a candid talk could be just whats needed to relieve the tension.
Speaking openly about mental illness can help prevent your child from internalizing some of your behavior. This talk could also help your child feel validated if they live with a mental health condition.
An ongoing, nonjudgmental conversation does wonders for diffusing built-up stress and promoting a sense of calm.
Connect With Others As A Form Of Stress Management
Another great way to manage stress is by connecting with others, like friends, family, or a support group. Coping with stress will be easier when you have people to talk to and lean on.
Talk to friends and family
Talking about your problems is often the first step in coping with them. Talk to your friends and family members about whats going on in your life. They may offer some helpful advice or just listen if thats what you need.
Join a support group
Friends and family are great for coping with stress, but sometimes its helpful to talk to people who have been in your shoes before. Joining a group is a great way to connect with others going through the same thing as you. There are many support groups available that focus on different topics.
Host a playdate
Playdates are a fun way to manage stress. Get together with another mom and her kids for a day of playing, laughing, and just having fun. Its a great way to escape from your problems for a little while.
Helping others is a great way to reduce stress. Many organizations need help, so find one that speaks to you and get involved. You can volunteer on your own or with your kids.
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Simple Stress Management: Five Tips
1. Think and talk positively Unhelpful thinking makes it harder to deal with stressful things for example, in a stressful situation you might think, Whats wrong with me? I cant get things together.
But you can change unhelpful thinking into helpful thinking and positive self-talk, which are good ways to deal with stress. They increase your positive feelings and your ability to cope with stressful situations.
To put realistic thinking and positive self-talk into action, try the following:
2. Focus on whats essential Stress often means youre trying to do too much, so try setting realistic goals for your day. You could also avoid taking on more than you can handle.
Making a plan and having some family routines can help you feel more on top of things and take your stress down a notch or two.
And if you have some large tasks to deal with, they might be more manageable if you break them down into smaller chunks. You might also think about asking for some help from family or friends.
3. Stay connected with others Talking things over with your partner or a friend can help you keep things in perspective.
Spending some time with friends can be a real help too. Even meeting for a quick coffee can be enough, because sharing worries can help you feel supported and better able to cope.
If you have limited time, connecting with other parents through social media or email can help you stay in touch with like-minded people.
Keep A Positive Outlook
Negative self-talk can have a detrimental impact on your confidence as a parent and undermine your mental well-being. According to research, anxious parents tend to pay more attention to threats and negative information. This anxiety and negativity may then spill over into their interactions with their children.
Make an effort to avoid negativity, whether it’s coming from yourself or from outside influences.
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The Problem: You Are Ready To Explode
Id lit the candles on my older sons cake. We were ready to sing. The wax was melting. My younger son was flipping over the back of the couch, completely ignoring me as I yelled, Get over here so we can do this! I grabbed his arm and pulled him to a chair and yelled, Sit down, now!
The Tool: Your Go-To Calming Mechanism
This isnt one-size-fits-all, but Ill tell you what I use: upstairs brain/downstairs brain. Imagine that your brain is a two-story house. The downstairs brain is in primitive mode. No reasoning. Just responses. The upstairs is more evolved and logical. When I am ready to explode, I think, How can I stay upstairs? Figure out your calming tool and keep it in your back pocket.
Have Fun With Your Kids
Laughing and doing things you enjoy are great stress relievers for the whole family. Take time to go on bike rides, play games, engage your kids, and have fun. Cheer on your kids in sports or other hobbies they enjoy. Work on being present when you are with your children and soak up the precious moments. Unplug from technology and enjoy your time together.
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Here Are Some Key Coping Mechanisms For You That Can Help You Raise A Confident And Resilient Child:
Focus on your wellbeing
If you dont take care of yourself, you will not be able to look after any other aspect of your life work, home, or children. Take that moment to read that book, watch that film you are always too busy for, and spend time on your own aspirations. This will help calm nerves and encourage you to live in the moment.
Use relaxation techniques
If you do find yourself worrying and thinking of negative scenarios, use relaxation techniques. Relaxation techniques allow us to have a clearer mind that helps positive thinking. Why not try one of these relaxation methods to relieve stress or tension. All you need is a green space outside, to take a deep breath and explore the nature around you. Focus on the sounds to calm you.
Know what you can control
You may feel like everything in your childs life is your responsibility, but remember you cant control and balance everything! Put effort into what you can control and let go of what you cant. Children need to make mistakes and experience life to be prepared for adulthood! You can encourage building this resilience by giving them responsibility get your child to clean their room or help prepare dinner.
Talk With Your Spouse Co
One of the first things you can do if youre feeling burnt out is to speak with your spouse, co-parent, loved one, or partner.
Explain what youre dealing with and how youre feeling. Be honest. Dont be afraid to admit youre struggling or overworked and overwhelmed. Tell them what you need, outlining concrete steps, if possible.
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Other Sources Of Anxiety
Of course, just about any parenting problem can become a source of parenting anxiety. From a preschooler who starts waking up in the middle of the night to a toddler who doesn’t want to become potty trained.
While these are normal parenting problems that many of us face at one time or another, the anxiety usually comes when a parent begins to feel that the issue won’t ever be resolved.
When parents start thinking like this, it is easy to see how they can become stressed out and anxious, especially if they think they will never get to sleep through the night again or that their child is going to start kindergarten and still not be potty trained. Bedwetting, frequent temper tantrums, and picky eating are other parenting issues that often lead to some parenting anxiety.
Besides common parenting issues, money is another big source of anxiety. For a long time, parents had to simply worry if they were going to be able to save enough to send their kids to a good college. Today, more and more parents have to worry about keeping their homes out of foreclosure or even keeping or getting a job.
Worry about money and the economy also spills over to worry about the future of our children for many parents. Will there be jobs and careers for our kids when they grow up so that they can raise kids to worry about themselves?
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Am I a stressed parent?
I would love to answer no to this question but if you asked my kids they would say I am 100% a stressy mum! Even on my good days!
However, I know that things are changing even if my children dont admit it. I am finding ways to reduce that stress and provide a happy, safe space for me and my family.
It is stressful being a parent being a childs ultimate protector comes with a lot of responsibility.
Ive been doing it for 13 years and every day still has its challenges however I have discovered its only stressful if I let it. Over the years I have had to acknowledge some uncomfortable truths:
- There is no such thing as mastering being a parent I will make mistakes every day.
- My children are my harshest critics in their eyes, everyone else is doing a better job at parenting than me.
- If there is chaos in the rest of my life you can bet that my children will feel the brunt of it.
- Look after yourself and control the chaos
Exercising, spending time out with friends, treating yourself to really tasty exotic food that the kids dont like.
- Dont compare
Be the parent that you want to be, know what that is, and dont be swayed by what you think all the other parents around you are doing.
- Know when to let go
How can you both protect and let go? Trust your instincts and make every decision with love. Letting your children know that you believe in them, but you must also make judgments of when something is safe or not.
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Adopt A Parenting Mantra
Adopting a go-to parenting mantra can help you reset and feel empowered through those intense moments of stress.
Here are some of my favorite positive parenting examples:
- I am one person doing my best.
- This too shall pass.
- This is a chance to show my child how to choose respect in moments of anger.
- I am enough. I am worthy and valuable.
- My relationship with my child is more important than this problem.
- I can do hard things.
- Will this problem still matter to me by tomorrow?
- My child may not doing what I need right this second, but he/she will get there if I practice a little patience.
You can find more inspirational positive parenting quotes to get you through tough times here.
Feeling Heard And Understood
Stress brings big feelings for all of us. Out bursts, melt downs, temper tantrums. These are all normal reactions to our current situation. When we respond to a meltdown with understanding and support, it makes all the difference. I know this first hand because early on in the pandemic shuffle, I had a major meltdown with my colleagues. I am sure I shocked and upset them, but they responded to me with compassion and understandingand messages of how valued I am to the team. This really made a difference for me and helped me cope with the stress I was experiencing.
Here are some ways to help someone feel heard and understood:
- Validate feelings and empathize with how difficult the situation is
- Take some time to listen to their concerns and try your very best not to jump in with problem solving. Just listen and let them know you are there for them.
- With children and teens it is important to resist minimizing or discounting their feelings. Their feelings and distress are just as real as ours is.
- With younger children , consider making a feelings vocabulary as a way to help communication feelings. You can download a copy of our Temperature Scale here, which is a great tool to help kids verbalize their feelings.
Here are some ways for you to be heard and understood:
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The Psychological Benefits Of Caregiving
Finally, when the demands of caregiving leave caregivers feeling emotionally and physically exhausted, they would serve themselves well to practice what therapists call cognitive reframing. For instance, you can take the negative parts of the current circumstances and flip them into positives, reminding yourself that you are being kind and responsible by doing what you can for another human being you are having the experience of time spent with that person that you wont always have and you are modeling caring behavior for others, reminding everyone around you that each of us is a member of a community that ultimately functions best when we protect each other.
Developing A Behavior Management Plan
Dont be subject to the whim of your childs emotions the next time they cross a boundary. Sticking to a plan of action for discipline means you and your child know exactly what to expect. And it saves your mind from diving into a stressful place of panic or anger.
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