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A workshop for parents of children of all ages:

Date: Wednesday, June 17th
Time: 6:30-8 p.m.
Place: Exit 6 Office Building, Suite 1532, Nashua NH
Cost: $25 per person

I am presenting this workshop for parents because I have been asked many questions about “the children.”

Children can be very literal and misunderstand quite easily. Dad losing his job and being home could seem like vacation, so a child may wonder why dad is grouchy and never wanting to play baseball…thinking to himself: “did I do something wrong?”

After one Mom lost her job and the dad’s wages were reduced the family had to sell their house. The five year old asked when the people would be coming to take their house away and where would they all sleep when the house was gone.

With all the talk in the house about the concerns about money the 16 year old assumed that college would be out of the question. Another teenager canceled her birthday party, thinking that her parents would be unable to afford this expense.

At this workshop we will be talking about how to prevent your children from jumping to conclusions. We will discuss giving them information up front so they understand if you are frustrated or having a bad day.

We will also talk about how to meet these challenges with your family: what to do when you when you cannot go on the family camping trip because you don’t have the money or when the trip to Disney gets cancelled. What and how to tell the children and how to manage their anger and frustration about all the changes.

We will be discussing how to get your children involved in the problem solving in a way that relieves your stress/guilt and frees your children from worry.

To register: Call 883-9333
Or email: connie.bessette@settingparentsfree.com
***limited space available***

I have recently have had many opportunities to observe and be involved with moms of infants.

Many of us who are not “in the trenches” don’t really know what it feels like for the mom with her newborn because you are not her and because no two experiences are the same.

For those of you who are spending time with a mom of an infant, fight the urge to say or imply–I know or I’ve been there. Fight the urge to offer suggestions –unless clearly asked.
Moms of newborns can feel very alone. Your best gift to them is to listen, without judgment and without interruption.

A few closing tips for you moms of infants: Don’t do this alone—it is way too hard! If family and friends are not an option, check with your hospital or pediatrician’s office for mom/infant groups; or surf the net—others are in similar positions as you.

My daughter and son-in-law gave birth to their third child—my first grandson. To help out I took the week off to be with my granddaughters (2 and 4 years old). I started out with plans of visiting relatives, doing craft/baking projects, reading books, maybe a children’s museum, building a snowman, etc. etc. There would be little to no television, healthy yet fun snacking; and most important they would have my undivided and top quality attention.

By day 2 I had prepared over a dozen snacks/meals, answered at least 50 questions, buckled and unbuckled seatbelts at least 30 times, listened to a rap version of Itsy Bitsy Spider about 15 times, and cleaned/participated in some type of “elimination” detail at least a dozen times.

Then there was story time at the library when the 4 year old decided it would be fun to join her sister in running through the maze of book shelves and laughing at my attempts to halt their fun.

These 2 little “sweeties” as I have come to call them definitely had my undivided attention…however the quality was in question.

I was losing my cool!

I thought of what I would say/do as a parent coach:
“notice your body”…mine was tense, my breathing shallow and I imagine there was very little oxygen getting to my brain;
“look at the big picuture…” I realized that I quite overwhelmed;
“who is really in charge?” the girls were running the show.

I got a grip; got down on one knee, took 2 little hands, said shhhhh, and with gentle firmness walked them back to story time. I salvaged the “library experience”!

We had Wendy’s take out for lunch and watched two rounds of “Little Bear” when we got home.

And, as the week went on I relaxed quite a bit and used fewer words when I needed to discipline. I was also able to let go of my initial idealistic plans and be guided by my granddaughter’s needs and my energy level.

I applaud all you moms and dads out there. Raising your children is indeed the toughest job you will ever do!

Does it sometimes feel like a million things are swirling around in your head?  Do you feel like you just can’t focus?

There are countless parenting situations that can be stressful.  Maybe you are having the day from hell? Or, maybe your child is just pushing all your buttons.
Try stepping out of the “moment” or the “situation” and grounding yourself. This means doing exactly that. Feel the floor under your feet, actually wiggling your toes inside your shoes. Touch things around you–maybe your counter or kitchen table, open and close your eyes a few times. Take a few breaths in and out actually watching your belly move in and out.

Maybe take a bathroom break (30 seconds or 5+min) feel/hear the water running—which will also filter out noise from outside the door.

Take a look at a clock. Remind yourself that it is now…not 2 hours ago when you were in the midst of an upsetting situation. And, take a look at a calendar; remind yourself that it is today; not a week or a month ago when there was that big argument.

Sometimes events of the past have a way of interfering with the present without us even realizing it. They may be from long ago or they may be from 2 hours ago.

While parenting you may find yourself upset beyond what seems warranted for the situation. Perhaps your child dropped his coat as he walked in the door and stepped on it rather than pick it up. Understandably that would make any parent upset however you may find yourself agitated and unable to let it go. Take a few moments to “ground yourself” before you revisit the issue with your child.