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Parenting Under Stress by Beaumont Todd

THE BAHAMAS CRISIS CENTRE

Parenting Under Stress

Stress is a Reality!

Although your family may be a source for joy in many ways, it is quite natural for the family to also be   a   great   source   of   stress, whether it is financial, social or because of relationship problems.

Parenting can be very stressful. Whether you are a stay at home parent  or  a  working  parent,  a single parent or a married parent, mother or father, parent of one child or several children; remaining cool, calm and full of energy can help get you through the day. Sometimes,   we   find   stress   so over-whelming that it affects our parenting skills and our children suffer as a result. It is important to recognize stress and to deal with it appropriately.

Michael was a typical working executive. He worked long hours on his job and had a very demanding schedule to ensure that he met his deadlines. He was often stressed out that the continuous demands of his job. In addition to the work the office was a very unsocial place where his co-workers constantly were trying to undermine one another to advance. This meant that in addition to trying to get a task accomplished, Michael also had to be vigilant about who he trusted and ensuring he was always at his best.  Often Michael came home tired and weary. He rarely talked about his job at home, but because of being so tired after the day’s activities he rarely spent time with his wife and family. His relationship with both eventually disintegrated and his wife asked for a divorce. Michael drank heavily to deal with his problems prior to his wife leaving and even more so after their divorce. He eventually lost his job along with his family.

Kevin was also an executive who worked in the same building as Michael. He had different responsibilities but his work environment and job responsibilities were still very demanding and stressful. Daily before leaving work for home, Kevin took a walk to his car and prayed for peace before heading home. At home he and his wife talked about their day regularly and he always helped with the chores in the house and played with his children before retiring for the evening. He and his wife lived a very enjoyable life together with their family.

 

Healing the Nation

Balancing Work and Parenting many parents find it difficult to balance the demands of their jobs with the needs of their children. Looking after children is stressful but trying to meet the demands of bringing up children and working can challenge anyone.

It is important that children understand how important your work is to you but that they are even   more   important.  Asking for help from family or friends can help to relieve some of your stress if necessary. Whether a parent or a grandparent, you have to commit quality time with the children, helping with homework, being there to listen to concerns and generally providing loving care and attention.

Understanding and identifying the areas of your life that are stressful is also very important in being able to balance and manage those areas so that you can be effective as a parent.

Stress can come in a number of forms two forms that greatly affect parenting in the home are relationship problems and financial stress.

Relationship problems

The stress resulting from relationship problems can seriously affect children. They maybe c o n f u s e d  by the arguments that are occurring in the home and may feel that they are responsible for the problems their parents are having. If the arguments become physical and abusive, the effect on children can be   even   more   devastating.  Stress can cause parents to become physically abusive, not only to each other but to their children as well.

Parents are responsible for recognizing that their behavior has become dangerous to them- selves and/ or to their family and to take action quickly. They should talk to someone.  If  they  notice that their partner has become depressed, they should encourage  him  or  her  to  seek help.  Loving support from a partner who is depressed can go a long way in dealing with the problem.

Financial Stress

Depression can result from any type of stress, particularly financial problems. It is a serious condition which can lead to self-harm or harm to others if not treated.

Financial stress is a leading cause to a rising level of domestic and child abuse. Many stressed out parents place too much pressure on their children, which may cause the child to become stressed, depressed or anxious.

Numerous factors create stress within a family, but the current world financial crisis is hitting many homes, both here in The Bahamas and all over the world.

How should parents deal with financial, relationship or other stress?

Hints For Dealing With Stress

·         Adapt spending habits in order to minimize stress.

·         Try to stay positive

·         Spend more time with your children, finding ways to enjoy time together that do not cost money. Reading, talking, walking on the beach, all of these activities are cost-free and develop   close   and   loving relationships   between   parents and children

·         •Start a new hobby with the entire family

·         Adapt  your  lifestyle  to  cut down on spending, if your stress is caused by financial problems

·         Ask for support from friends, family,  the Crisis Centre, your church or Social Services

·         Seek  counseling  for  ongoing support and advice

If you feel yourself losing control:

·         Take a deep breath and go to a quiet place to calm down

·         Telephone a friend if there is no-one at home to support you

·         Go for a walk if there is someone home to watch the children

·         Seek counseling to assist you through difficult times

We are one people created equal by God and for the purpose of loving and being loved. Let us work together to Heal ourselves, families, communities, nation and world.

If you would like to talk to someone about anything that is bothering you, please call 328-0922. For more information check out our website at www.bahamascrisiscentre.org or contact us.  Email us at bahamascrisiscentre@yahoo.com or call us at 328-0922.

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