Parenting Now!

Parent Stress

The Long Haul

You’ve made it through the joys, challenges, and adjustments of having a new baby – the first smile and sleepless nights, the first time they say “mama” and the pain of teething. Now that your child is a pre-schooler or a kindergartener, you can let go of the stress of being a new parent and the challenges of caring for an infant, right?

As every parent will tell you, parenting at every stage has joy and challenges… and stress. A 2010 survey by the American Psychological Association found that 73 percent of parents report family responsibilities as a significant source of stress.

Stressing Out

Stress isn’t always bad for you (or your children). Your body sometimes reacts to stress to get you going, like when your breathing and heart rate get faster. Sometimes that’s what you need to get out the door if you’re late or about to perform. But if you constantly feel stress and are worried about nearly everything nearly every day your health will suffer. Signs of stress include:

Understanding Your Stress

A good way to start dealing with stress is to understand which activities or environments increase your stress.

Prevention is the Best Medicine

No one, and surely not parents, can avoid all stress. Making a little time each day to appreciate and enjoy your family can go a long way in helping to prevent some stress. Here are some other ideas:


When the Stress Hits

Last, But Not Least

Many families live in situations that create extra stress because of discrimination, inequality, low incomes, lack of services that address their needs, etc. If your life circumstances create high stress, seek safe and supportive community and individual resources to get support.

If you continue to struggle with stress and it interferes with your life and your ability to parent, contact a professional. Talk with a physician or counselor to see what they can recommend.

Stress Can Be Managed

No matter the circumstances, no one lives without stress, certainly not parents. Some stress is expected, but too much can create serious problems. Address your stress with preventive and everyday tools so you and your child will thrive and build a healthy loving relationship.


This article is brought to you by Parenting Now! Parenting Educators and authors, Tova Stabin, Claire Davis and Lynne Swartz and consultant Jay Thompson ( Parenting Now! is passionate about happy, healthy families. For more information about Parenting Now! contact us here.

Want to sign up for Triple P Online? Go to: