Stressed at Home? Parenting Tips from Professional Educators

Stressed at Home? Parenting Tips from Professional Educators

Let’s face it: being stuck at home as a family can be stressful. Even though you love each other immensely, having to reconfigure your whole life, including working from home and helping facilitate schooling for your children is draining and messy.

If this resonates with you, you’re not alone! Our Behavioral Intervention Support Team (BIST) has pulled together some principles we give to teachers all over the country to help with classroom management during high-stress situations. We hope it will help in your new, expanded role at home.

When You Get Frustrated

It’s going to happen. Though it can be difficult, being in touch with your emotions enough to head them off before they get out of control is a valuable skill, especially in parenting. When you feel yourself getting worked up either in a conversation or by yourself, try following these steps.

  • Recognize early that your emotions are growing and give yourself permission to pause.
  • Stop the frustrating activity entirely and take a break.
  • Take some deep breaths.
  • Walk away.
  • Come back when everyone is calm and problem-solve solutions for next time.

After an Argument

When an argument does occur, it’s always important to pursue reconciliation, even if you are the instigator as a parent. Both parties need to be accountabile for their part in the altercation and should, with kindness, problem-solve to prevent a repeating the situation. This process is increases resilience both in people and in the relationship itself.

The following are steps and conversation prompts necessary for reconciliation, whether between children, parents, or other adults.

  • Reconnect relationship
    • How are you? Can we talk?
  • Alleviate worry
    • I’m not mad and we can fix this.
  • Own the problem
    • What happened to elevate my emotional state?
  • Recognition of concern
    • Why did I think this was a problem?
  • Problem-solve
    • What can I do differently next time?
  • Apology
    • I’m sorry for…
    • Next time I will…
    • Can you accept my apology?
  • Restitution
    • Acts that allow both individuals to increase trust in a situation.
    • Example: If a child messed up their room during an outburst, they may have to clean it along with the rest of the house.

Coaching for Better Interactions in the Future

When problem behaviors persist, it’s helpful to be able to talk to your kids when they are calm to help them process. Here are a few suggestions of coaching questions for common tension points.

  • When a child can’t have an overwhelming feeling without acting out:
    • When you get mad what words can you use?
    • What will your voice sound like?
    • Where in our house can you go for a break?
  • When a child is having trouble being ok when others are not:
    • When your sibling does something you don’t like, what are some strategies you can use?
    • What words can you use to let me know how you feel?
    • Where is a good place to settle down?
  • When a child can’t do something if they don’t want to or it is hard:
    • When you don’t like what I ask you to do, what words can you use to let me know?
    • Will I want you to do it quickly or slowly?
    • Will I want you to talk back or just do it?