Every parent struggles to juggle household responsibilities from time-to-time. Often, the lure of a long holiday or at least have a whole day away from the children springs to mind. Although it might help in lessening the stress, it doesn’t completely solve the issue at hand. The best way is to know how to deal with burnout.

Although you need to take a real break, there is no need to escape it entirely by going away. The answer is breaking the old habits that led you to this situation. Here are some bad parental habits you might be doing now that you need to stop in order to stay sane:

Negative self-talk

Are you too hard on yourself? Do you have a tendency to compare yourself to other parents who aren’t doing as good as a job as yourself? Try to refrain from being negative. When children hear negativity on a regular basis, they start saying and thinking the same about themselves, as they look up to you more than anyone in the world. The Huffington Post suggest parents should never project their insecurities onto their children, as it could lead to further problems in the future for your children, i.e. low self-esteem. Consider appreciating the small things you do, and learn to reward yourself for doing a great job – things like getting a massage or going on a personal shopping are the perfect kinds of rewards after a tiring day. You’ll be surprised at the kind of respect your children have for you when they get older if you always project a positive mindset.

Freaking out!

With plenty of things to think about plus a screaming child to attend to, most parents end up freaking out, thinking it’s the most logical response, and viewing their lives as a 24/7 crisis. Some just roll their eyes followed with a deep sigh, while others can’t help but burst into tears. In some situations, going ballistic or having a meltdown is a normal reaction. However, psychiatrist Scott Haltzman, M.D said, sweating about all the small things that you can’t control and that don’t matter in the long run affects how children react to life’s ups and downs.

The best way is to avoid the drama and look at the situation in a calmer way. It helps to play a few games in your spare time, as playing video games is said to decrease aggression, trigger positive behavior, and enhance problem-solving skills. In fact, some games are now made specifically for parents by redefining their usual chores such as Shopping Spree inspired by moms’ who go on routine shopping trips  and even using some popular family movies as themes, such as the famous dinosaur-themed Jurassic Park, as featured on Spin Genie’s online and mobile gaming platform. Take note that your reaction to situations will be essential in the development of your children, so stay calm and never freak out.

Practicing strict parenting

Research revealed that most parents think strict parenting produces well-behaved children, but it appears that an authoritarian approach to raising a child actually lowers self-esteem in children who behave worse than other children. In a report by Aha! Parenting, a strict parenting approach results in behavioral problems in children for different reasons:

• It deprives them of the opportunity to internalize self-discipline and responsibility
• It limits empathy and teaches children to be bullies
• They have more tendencies toward anger and depression
• They tend to be more rebellious
• It undermines the parent-child relationship

The best parenting is said to be the “Empathic Limits,” approach where parents set limits and convey it to their children, as the latter thrives on limits and age-appropriate expectations only if they are applied with the required empathy.

"Behaviors like overreacting have a boomerang effect: What we throw out to our kids will come right back at us," said Parents advisor Michele Borba, Ed.D. The key is to clean up your act by setting a good example for your children. Start with the ones listed above and you’re on your way to a new and improved family life.

Photo Credit: stephanski via Compfight cc 

Article published on April 22, 2016