A number of years ago Ellen Galinsky did a study called Ask The Children on work and family life and the results were really surprising. One of the questions was, “ If you were granted one wish and you only have one wish that could change the way your mothers or your fathers work affects your life, what would that be?” She also asked the parents to guess what the kids would say.
Fifty-six (56) percent of the parents thought the answer would be to spend more time with them but that wasn’t it. The kids wished their parents would be less stressed and less tired.
Although this study was done 15 or so years ago and it focused on parents who work, I would venture to say that there are a lot of kids today, regardless of their parents’ work status, that would give the same answer. We are busier than ever, more scheduled than ever and just having to drive in Austin is a major stressor.
It’s important to remember that not all stress is detrimental. When we are in a dangerous situation we all hope that our adrenalin kicks in to the flight mode, but the latest brain research clearly shows that being in the flight mode a good deal of the time is not emotionally or physically healthy.
So how does being stressed impact your daughter and your parenting?
First, she is watching and learning from you. Life is always going to throw things at you that are challenging. You can’t avoid it, but how you react to it is within your control. Do you get really stressed?
For the next two days I invite you to take note of how you react to things when you are stressed and make note of them. Ask yourself, is this in some way how I see my daughter reacting when life presents her difficulties, either big or small?
Guess you can see where I am going with this, it’s about you not your daughter and how you are managing self-care, so you can keep your stress under control.
Check out information at the ATFG website on Calming the Chaos: For Girls and Their Families a program that I created which is a one on one parent education program that cultivates skills to assist patents in navigating their relationship with their daughter in a healthy, respectful manner.