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5 tips for stress-less parenting

Michelle Maffei is a freelance copywriter covering a variety of topics both online and in print, from parenting to beauty and more. Combining her two favorite loves, writing and motherhood, she has found joy in even the most challenging ...

Parenting tips that reduce stress

Are your kids driving you batty? Feeling mommy guilt about anything and everything to do with your children? Whether you have a toddler or a teen, parenting doesn’t have to be stressful! Whether your parenting style is authoritative, authoritarian or indulgent, take the stress out of parenting with these tips for stress-less parenting.

Stressed mom

Behavior contracts and positive reinforcement

Making your child accountable for his choices can reduce the amount of energy you waste on stressing about his behaviors. For teens, write up a behavior contract that clearly states what is expected of him, the consequences, and have him add his John Hancock. For youngsters, a sticker chart or rewards system often helps motivate them to have good behavior.

Discussion Time-out

Ever find yourself arguing with your kiddo? Take a deep breath, tell your youngster that you will not talk to them about the topic until they can speak calmly and leave the situation for a few minutes to let the stress levels drop. When you pick up the conversation again, you'll be amazed at how much stress is averted.

Take time for yourself

Before you let mommy guilt keep you from spending time away from your kids, take a break from your brood and do something that focuses on you and your interests -- even if it is only for 15 minutes. Read a book, meet up with a friend for lunch or even surf Facebook and watch your stress melt away.

Lead by example

You cannot change a child's character, but you can lead by example. "It is not necessary to be perfect to be a terrific parent, but it might help parents feel less pressured to nag and scold and preach if they are reassured that these activities do not build a child's character," advises Elizabeth Berger, MD, Child Psychiatrist, author of Raising Kids with Character and MommyMDGuides.com contributor. "In other words, children treat other people the way they are treated by the big important people -- their parents. A parent who is full of stress in his attitude towards the child will observe that the child takes out that stress on other people through being aggressive with them, in turn." Remember, his little eyes are always watching.

Talk with other adults

Part of reducing stress is to relieve it by talking it out. Touch base with other parents, join a Mom's support group, or set time aside to talk to your partner about your frustrations. Chances are pretty good that you are not the only parent feeling frustrated about childhood challenges.

In the end, stress-less parenting may come down to knowing how to choose your battles. But, with a little patience and these tips, you can figure out your own effective parenting style for stress-less parenting.

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