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Spring Into Stress-Free Parenting

Spring is a time for renewal and rebirth. Use the season as the reason to revamp some of your parenting strategies and destress your entire household. Here are Mighty Mommy's 6 tips to spring into Spring.

By
Cheryl Butler
5-minute read
Episode #321

Spring is finally in the air and so is the urge to freshen up our homes. While we’re in the mood to breathe new life into our living environment, spring is also a time of renewal for other areas in our life as well—including revamping some of our current parenting strategies.

Get invigorated this season with Mighty Mommy’s 6 tips to help you spring into a more stress-free parenting style:.

Tip #1: Identify Your Daily Stressors

As parents, we all have our breaking points.  Between keeping our households running, working one or more jobs, juggling our kids’ activities, homework, play dates, and other appointments, and trying to make time for our spouses and ourselves, there usually isn’t any room for anything extra. It’s no wonder that we snap and fall apart when one of the kids whines about what we're having for dinner.

One way we, as parents, can lighten our load is to be aware of what our daily stressors are so that we can try and make some course corrections. In my family, one of the biggest stress-makers was that we were constantly running behind schedule. This caused us to snap at one another, which in turn caused us to arrive late for nearly every appointment or function, thus further adding to our stress. It was a vicious cycle.

See also: How Routines Will Simplify Your Life

 

Finally, I'd had enough. I started adding an extra 30 minutes to all our departure times for school, activities, and appointments. This way, we could all get ready and get out the door on time with much less stress.   

Tip #2: Prioritize What’s Important

It’s easy to get whisked away into a whirlwind of unnecessary activities like checking our emails every 15 minutes, or cruising on social media, rather than sitting and listening to your child tell you all about his day. But that does everyone a disservice. We parents need to take inventory of how we spend our time so that it can make the most positive difference in our children’s daily lives.  

One of the most valuable ways I have learned to spend my time is to take good care of myself. When I exercise on a regular basis and invest time in planning healthy, tasty meals for my family, I feel more energized and equipped to handle my 8 children.  Making time to be available after dinner to help with homework or to read stories, watch a favorite show, or just be present when my family might be going through a challenging time is also a priority of mine. 

When our kids sense that we are making them a priority, it can definitely help reduce the way we experience stress on a regular basis.

Tip #3: Ignore Bad Behaviors

One of the first parenting books I read was The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries by Michele Borba. I related to her tips because they were so practical and easy to apply. 

One of my favorites was how to deal with tantrums, whining, and annoying behaviors. Turns out, the longer you give attention to these behaviors, the longer they will last. The trick is to ignore, ignore, Ignore! 

It sounded much too simple to actually work, but when I focused on my kids' good behaviors and paid no attention to the less desirable ones, I was pleasantly surprised at how well this tactic worked. We can’t change how another person behaves, especially a young child, but we can change how we deal with these behaviors, and that has been one of the biggest stress reducers in raising kids for me.

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About the Author

Cheryl Butler

Cheryl L. Butler is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. Call the Mighty Mommy listener line at 401-284-7575 to ask a parenting question. Your call could be featured on the show!