Stress Relief for Parents

The holidays may be over, but the stressors are still here. Whether it’s the holiday decorations that need taken down, your infant who needs that 3 am feeding, your school age child who has another 2-hour delay or cancellation, your teenager who rolls their eyes to EVERYTHING you say and do, or all the above… Life is certainly overwhelming and every day presents challenges!

We all need a reminder on how to keep the stress levels low and focus on parenting.

• Take care of yourself- exercise, rest, and eat right.
• Talk with family and friends- learn from other parents.
• Talk with your child’s doctor- there may be a medical reason for your child’s difficult behavior.
• Talk to your doctor- there may be a medical explanation for the way you feel.
• Ask for help when you need it- choose a mature, responsible babysitter who you know well and who knows your child well.
• Learn more about parenting- books, magazines, and the Internet are filled with information about raising children and can help you make sense of their behaviors.

When things get tough, here’s how to handle the stress:

• Leave the child safely in their crib or bassinet (already fed and changed), and leave the room for fresh air or a quick hot shower if possible.
• Change up the activity that you and your child are doing- take a walk, get something to eat, or read a book with the child.
• Take several deep breaths and count to 20 before you say or do anything.
• Think about how your child will feel if you say what you are about to say.

There is help out there for you no matter what. Contact the Parenting WARMLINE at Family Resources, 412-363-1702, for more information and support or visit the website at: www.familyresourcesofpa.org.

For more information on safety initiatives at Children’s, visit www.chp.edu/injury-prevention.