Stress in the home

Home should be a sanctuary, a place where once the door is closed, we have peace and with each other. Though it’s easy to assume stress is all about work, homes may also be a catalyst for stress.

Children also have their own stresses to deal with, but they may not always be able to express themselves, or talk about what they feel. They may not feel they can talk to their parents or that their parents understand what they are going through, and as parents, we may not always feel our children understand the pressures we’re under.

Being a child is hard because through school they have worries and responsibilities of their own, but being a parent is harder still, with all the expectations and responsibilities that come with the role. Behavioural standards placed on children by society may be difficult for some parents. Not everyone is equipped mentally to take on a parenting role.

Being expected to parent well, means the pressure is always there. Parents understanding each other’s needs is difficult. Others may sense when a parent is stressed, but may not always be totally aware or understand why. A parent who is stressed may switch off to what’s going on around them.

They may not always make an effort. They may perceive and interpret discussions wrongly because their mind is elsewhere and they’re not listening. Parents may take their family for granted and therefore will make less of an effort.

All of these things bring about added stress, but it’s important parents are able to stand back and deal with their stress, think about what they say and how they say it.

As parents, it’s important to listen, it’s important to be compassionate, tolerant, and caring. As a family, it is important to work together to limit the amount of stress that’s brought into the home.

When it comes to my own children I have always taken an interest in my children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health: I was aware of their struggles, their hopes, their fears and when things bothered them. Although, I was aware I needed to find the right balance, I felt it important my children knew they could also approach me.

Over the years, I have encouraged them to talk about things. Not having had emotional support as a child, I understood even more how important it was to get that part of my parenting right.

11 Aug, 2012

6 thoughts on “Stress in the home

  1. Teenagers have so much to deal with now, more than I had I’m sure.

    The best we can do is listen to them and give the best advice we know how to give and hope they follow our good example.

    I don’t think arguing with them or others in the household is good for either party, but listening is good. If we can do that we may learn something.

    1. I think you’re right, expectations have changed and teenagers do have more to put up with in school and in society as a whole.

      I do think though that relationships are a two way street and even though we may be parents to teenagers, I think teenagers do have to give something back to their parents. I’m sure that with everything parents are expected to do for their children, that children aren’t giving what we do a second’s thought; they just know we do it, but are quick to challenge if they’re not happy with what we say.

      I agree that parents should listen to their children, but that children should listen back on what we have to say. That is even more important, but is not what seems to happen most of the time and that’s when stress sets in.

  2. Yes, unfortunately we do end up hurting the ones we love by taking out our stress on them.

    My home life right now is pretty calm, which has actually taken some time to get used to! I grew up in the kind of world where everybody was always blaming someone else for their problems without really looking at the issue themselves.

    I’ve spent the majority of my life doing that too, but I’m trying very hard to change my attitude.

    I’m thinking that it will do me a lot of good in the future.

    1. I agree with you. I think it is totally unfair to take things out on other family members just because we’re the ones who are struggling to deal with something.

      A bad day is a bad day, we all have them, therefore it’s important for us to take responsibility for owning up to it!

  3. My Mum has been a health care worker for nearly thirty years and has seen some nasty stuff.

    However when I got sick, I always got annoyed when she would say ‘I understand’ with regard to what I was going through. No one understands except for me and those who are suffering like me.

    I appreciate the empathy, but it’s just not the same as experiencing it first hand from my perspective.

    1. You’re absolutely right Mat. It’s not and never will be the same. Unless we fill another person’s shoes we never will know how the other person feels, but from my own experience empathy does help in a small way.

      Good response.

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