Coping with Parenting Stress

Parental stress is a distinct type of stress that arises when a parent’s perception of the demands of parenting outstrip his or her resources. Parental stress can lead to child abuse. There is much research that supports the fact that parental stress leads to child abuse. Early childhood development studies reported that children who live in homes where there are high levels of parental stress have more behavioural and mental health problems.

What causes parental stress?

Parental stress is normalized in our society. A little time taken by a parent is always viewed as a bad thing. It is essential to understand the cause, which will help us identify the problem and develop a solution. Here are a few causes:

  1. Financial difficulty in caring for the child
  2. An absent mother or father, leaving the remaining parent to be the sole breadwinner and caregiver for the child.
  3. Lack of social support from family and friends
  4. Inability to cope with a child’s disability or behavioral disorder
  5. Being overworked or overburdened
  6. Lack of awareness about parenting, mental, and physical well-being.


How do you know if you are experiencing parental stress?

Here are a few signs:

  • Getting angry with the child over little things.
  • Beating up the child for small and silly things
  • Ignorance or neglect of the child.
  • Saying mean and rude things to the child.
  • Violent thoughts about children.
  • Depressed and worried about meeting the child’s needs.
  • Tired and lack of energy all the time.
  • Disturbed sleep.
  • Skipping meals; loss of appetite

What can parents do to manage the stress?

  • It is important to meet the needs of yourself first. If your needs are met, it becomes difficult and challenging to meet the child’s needs.
  • Educate yourself about parenting and child development. Most parents don’t realize how their actions and words affect children. Many parents make the mistake of thinking that children will not remember, but children do, because parents actions and words towards them play a significant role in shaping the child’s thoughts, emotions, and behavior.
  • Spend quality time with your child. It doesn’t matter how long you spend with the child; how do you spend the time? Talk to the child and be open about your mistakes and flaws, which encourages the child to be transparent with you.
  • Educate yourself about the ways to discipline and guide the child.
  • In times of frustration, distance yourself from your child and engage in activities that calm you down, or talk to a counselor. Counseling is a safe, unbiased, and non-judgmental space.
  • Ask for help when you need it,  join support groups, or see a psychologist.
  • Never compare yourself with other families, parents, and children, as it brings only disaster and debilitates you in taking care of the child.




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