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Categories > Mental and Emotional Health > Stress management

When moms need help
Operating on a short fuse
Recognizing a crisis and regaining control

Keeping cool
Keeping cool

Instead of screaming at or striking your child …

  • run in place, do some jumping jacks or take a walk
  • count backward from 10
  • lock yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes
  • wipe the kitchen counters
  • write down what you’re feeling

A 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week proposition, parenting may well be the world’s most demanding, albeit rewarding, task. And today’s pressures don’t make it any easier. Holding down a job outside the home, juggling soccer games and gymnastics lessons, supervising the kids’ homework, preparing nutritious meals—it’s a challenge to do it all and still feel sane.

Operating on a short fuse

Unless Mom gets what she needs (and a fair amount of what she wants), she may find herself operating on a short fuse. Instead of speaking to her kids in a normal tone, she may begin screaming constantly, resorting to name calling, put-downs and hurtful language. Small things may begin to irritate her so that she’s frequently in a bad mood and quick to lash out. She may begin to feel as if she’s alone and that no one else understands what it means to be in her shoes. Eventually, she may start handling, spanking or hitting her children more roughly or harder than intended.

Recognizing a crisis and regaining control

It’s important to recognize when you’re losing control and to get the support you need to nurture a warm parent/child relationship. The tips listed in “Keeping Cool” may help in the heat of the moment, but for long-term help ask your healthcare provider for guidance or call Parents Anonymous (PA) at 909-621-6184.

In general, you may find parenting less stressful and more rewarding if you …

  • pursue your own interests and goals rather than center all activities around the children
  • recognize and reward the effort you put into parenting
  • use humor to put things in perspective
  • remember that there are no black and white rules when it comes to parenting
  • be positive about yourself and respond to your children in healthy and positive ways
  • regularly take time out for yourself, to renew your patience and revive your strength