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                 How many times a week do you find yourself overwhelmed by stress? Take a moment to think about all of the frustrations in your life. You probably have bills, relationships, or work-related stressors. But what about your kids? How many of your frustrated moments have stemmed from interactions with your children? Here are some helpful tips to help you reduce your stress!

                    If things don’t go as we expect them to, we tend to feel frustrated. It can be extremely irritating when your hopes and needs fail to be met, but you also need to remember to ask yourself if those expectations were reasonable. For example, if you have trouble getting your preschooler out the door in the morning consider this: preschoolers need help, encouragement, and transition time with morning and evening routines. Making minor adjustments to your expectations as well as your schedule will help you avoid frustration!

                       There are few things more horrifying than when your child decides to start a food fight in the middle of a restaurant. Regardless of whether he or she misbehaves in public or private it can still be extremely frustrating.  Try to remember that there are four big reasons why children misbehave: to get attention, to get even, to feel in control, or because they are afraid. When you have a better understanding of why your children misbehave you can prevent it from happening. If your little one tends to act out while you’re shopping or preparing dinner, it’s most likely because they are seeking your attention. Try spending 10-15 minutes with them beforehand in order to calm them down. By reducing your child’s frustration you will surely reduce your own.

                              Be sure that you’re not contributing to the problem. Even though we would like to think that we can’t make the problem worse, we can. If your child seems to be breaking all of your rules, it’s probably because he or she feels over-controlled. Instead, try limiting the number of rules you have and offer choices to help guide their behavior. During childhood, children develop their own sense of authority. When you allow your child to make decisions for themselves it offers them the freedom they need while still allowing you to maintain important rules.

                             Believe it or not, the same things that trigger stress in your life can actually affect your child. Children are extremely intuitive and can feel tension within a household without it even being mentioned. If you are under stress, chances your child is as well, which may be one reason why he or she is acting out. By practicing simple stress management activities together such as deep breathing or relaxation, you can start relieving stress in your home.

                            Stress and frustration are an inevitable part of life but they should never overwhelm you or your child. By making simple changes to your schedule and the way you discipline your child as well as taking measures to prevent stress you can begin to release yourself from everyday frustration.

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