Stress Savers for Parents

Living Healthy Chicago
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For parents of young children, mornings can be a challenge.

With two children under the age of 6, Matt and Mary Ellen Poole’s early hours are often hectic. Matt says his kiddos can get agitated for all kinds of reasons including, “what kind of food we’re  having for breakfast, what clothes the kids choose to wear, our two little ones vying for attention.”

Expert Joyce Marter says that the stresses of taming those tantrums and tackling morning troubles while also trying to get the entire family out the door often sparks stress that lasts all day, “We might be holding ourself in a more tight way, we might have negative thinking in our mind, and it just sort of starts things off on the wrong note.”

And Matt has seen that firsthand, “Physically I feel like, a little drained. It’s harder to focus sometimes. I feel like I`m not able to give everybody everything that they need. ”

After spending a morning in the Poole household, Joyce had some tips for Matt and other parents.

Morning Stress Savers:

  • Take a step back. Joyce recommends imagining a plexiglass barrier separating you from your child’s negativity or outburst and yourself. This creates a zen space for you to reduce stress and take on the situation.
  •  Know you’re not alone. Joyce notes, ” As parents, we often compare our insides to other people’s outsides, and we feel as though only our kids are rolling on the floor screaming and everybody else’s kids are behaving perfectly.”
  • Don’t expect perfection.  Joyce wants to remind parents that, “we’re all human and there’s no such thing as a perfect parent, but you’re the perfect parent for your kid.” Do the best you can, and know that’s enough.


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