PARENTS

10 Things To Remember When Your Child Is Stressing You Out

31/03/2015 17:43 | Updated 31 May 2015

Little girl throwing a tantrum

Perfect parents: we all know them. The ones which do arts and crafts with their kids all the time instead of sticking an iPad under their noses. The ones who bake cakes in a clean kitchen with barely any mess.

But even the most perfect of perfect parents get stressed out every once in a while, like the rest of us. It can feel like an almost desperate situation: your blood pressure is rising, your fingernails digging into your palm, and you feel on the edge of losing control.

Take a breath: there are a few things you need to remember when you find yourself about to blow steam out of your ears...

It doesn't last forever

And I'm not just talking about the tantrum they're having, or the boisterous moments when they JUST WON'T STOP SCREAMING. They pass in time, and – as you already know – kids can go from being a demon to an angel in seconds.

And, as you already know, time goes by too quickly when you have kids, and they grow up fast. As hard as it can be, enjoy the moments when they're yelling and shouting and winding you up. They're not little for long.

Don't give in

Guilt is just something that every parent deals with on a daily basis, and even though you know you're in the right you can still feel like the big bad wolf when you're stopping your child from doing something dangerous which they perceive as loads of fun. But stick to your guns; there are times when earning your child's respect and stamping your authority is more important than being fun mum or dad.

Walk away and take a moment

If your child is safe, then walk away for a few moments. As well as giving you the chance to breath/gather your thoughts/scream into a pillow, the lack of attention will quickly result in them burning themselves out and returning to a more normal mood (and colour).

Remind yourself that they're vulnerable

We all know that the official rule is you don't raise your voice; but, from time to time, we've all done it. But try to see the world through a child's eyes: everyone is tall, and imposing, and they're really quite vulnerable.

Keep your sense of humour

You can lose your marbles, but never lose your sense of humour. It'll keep you going through even the most catastrophic tantrums!

Pick your battles

No-one expects you to be Supernanny, so avoid the temptation to rise to every challenge your child presents you with. You don't have to win every single battle, especially if it's over something trivial. If they're about to have a meltdown in Sainsbury's because you're implying that you might not buy them some chocolate, then pick up the Curly Wurly and make your life easier. They might have won the battle, but you'll win the war.

Dance

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Nothing douses the flames of a tantrum like confusing the hell out of your child. And so, when they're screaming and doing that thing where you pick them up and they just won't stand on their feet but insist on collapsing like cold spaghetti on the floor, then dance.

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As well as bemusing them so much that they forget what they were stropping about, it gives you an opportunity to show off your Riverdance skills.

Don't sweat the small stuff

So you're stressing out because your kids aren't displaying impeccable table manners, or you're drowning under a pile of housework. Without sounding too much like Elsa, let it go. Life's too short for everything to be perfect all the time. Your child will not become a criminal if they forget to say 'thank you' every time they receive something.

Remember your victories

Focus on the things that have happened during the day which have gone right. Perhaps you got the children out of the house in record time, or they had loads of fun at the soft play centre which you despise. Maybe you got loads done in the office, or you actually look presentable today as opposed to your hair being all over the place and your clothes covered in baby sick. It's not all as bad as it seems.

There's always wine

It's that simple. When you're stressed, just focus on the glass of wine you'll have that evening...

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