How To Go
With The Flow

It's no lie: The stress of being a parent can sometimes be overwhelming. This can transmit itself -- whether you want it to or not -- in unfavorable ways to your little people. Falling into the trap of the stressed out, drill sergeant parent is easy, but life as a mom or dad doesn't have to be that way. We'll show you how to go with the flow and make your parenting experience better all around.

Brothers playing outside1Get outdoors

It sounds so simple -- go outside -- but the natural world holds so much potential for fun and learning from the time your child is an infant until they themselves are adults.

Give a child a love of the outdoors, and you will help them love it for life. And without tons of gear to buy or expensive lessons to taxi them to, you'll save money. Getting outdoors benefits the whole family -- everyone has fun, gets exercise and forgets about the daily grind.

>> Put an end to Nature-Deficit Disorder

2Establish a routine

From infancy, it's best to establish a routine as early as possible and stick with it. This enables your child to know what to expect and when to expect it, and while it doesn't guarantee your lives will be drama free, it will help keep expectations in line and stress levels lower for all involved.

>> Time management: Reap the rewards of the routine

3Know when there's a real emergency

It's easy, particularly with your first child, to overreact to any injury, fever, fall or boom. The good news is that children are strong and resilient and, barring any underlying health condition, heal and recover quickly. To be on the safe side, it's best to brush up on basic first aid and keep your medicine cabinet stocked with age-appropriate medicine and bandages. If you are relaxed and strong in the face of crisis, your child will be calmer.

>> How to stop hyper-parenting and just relax with your kids

4Take time for you

Lean on your partner or other family members to care for your children while you take care of yourself on a regular basis. Catch a movie with a good friend or take a jog in a local park. You don't even have to leave the house. If you love to read, create your own reading area, complete with a comfy chair and snacks, while your partner entertains the kids in another part of the house.

>> How to design a mom cave

5Create a nurturing environment

Be accessible to your children at all stages of their life. When children trust that their important people will comfort and help them in times of need as well as times of joy and fun, there is less conflict and stress.

With these tips in mind, you can manage your stress level and teach your children valuable ways to manage stress themselves. A happy, relaxed parent creates a happy, relaxed household. Try it!

Read more advice on stress-free parenting:

 


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Tags: calm

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Comments

Comments on "5 Steps to being a more laid-back parent"

Monica November 30, 2010 | 6:28 PM

I know the idea of spending time outdoors with your child might be considered old-fashioned in this day and age, but trust me -- it's good for both of you!

McErin November 30, 2010 | 1:46 PM

Whoa. The author did not say not to put your children in extracurricular activities, but merely suggested, hey, enjoy a free, natural resource that can get kids out of your hair. Establishing a routine? Right. How silly and hippie.

LizPW November 30, 2010 | 12:38 PM

What is ridiculous about going outdoors? Thats great advise! My son has his share of swim and soccer, but just being outdoors, no matter what he's doing makes him happy. I'm also a much better parent because I am able to take time for myself. Much of the advise posted here is what I have always done from instinct and is probably very helpful to a parent that might be stressed out. I think this is great advise for any parent, no matter what kind of parenting style you have.

Janelle November 30, 2010 | 12:32 PM

I'm sorry, but these ideas are ridiculous -- and what's wrong with taking your kid to dance or hockey lessons? Sounds like a lot of hippie mumbo-jumbo to me.

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