One of the largest contributors to stress is over commitment. Families are pulled in multiple directions by varying activities. The more children there are the more activities there are, the more refined the balancing act becomes.
Think about the list of activities that you and your children are involved in. Why are they involved in each activity? Is it because they have a passion for it or is it because they needed to have a more rounded activity schedule? Let your child choose a few activities that they feel drawn to. Let them explore their passions, but don’t sign them up for every activity there is. Teach them to pick and choose their priorities when choosing activities. Doing one thing and doing it well is different from doing several things that there isn’t a passion for.
The same that applies for your children and their activities should apply to yours as well. Learn to say no. If you are already committed to several activities and are stressed for time, do you really need to participate in one more activity? Learning to say no and to weed through the activities you already do will help cut down on your stress.
A less stressed parent makes a less stressed child. Our moods and behaviors are often reflected in our children. Leading by example is a wonderful motto to live by. Our children see how we deal with stress and emulate it. Wading through our activities and learning to say no are only two activities. Another one would be to learn to slow down and enjoy family time.
When is the last time you had a sit down meal with everyone gathered around the table? A meal where there was no rush to get somewhere or to go and pick someone up. Having a meal together is a family bonding time. It is an excellent opportunity for children and parents to be together. They can discuss what is on their minds, what goals they have or even what is bothering them, to cause stress. Just this simple act of sitting down and sharing a meal can lower stress in a family.
Have a family movie or game night. These are activities that everyone can enjoy together. Have the children and parents take turns picking out movies or games to play. There may be old family favorites or you may find new ones that become your family’s games.