How To Parent Well Through Stress

stressed mom

 

When one member of the family is stressed, it often means that all members of the family are stressed- even the tiniest members, our children.

Despite the difficulties that we have experienced, God has shown us time and time again of His goodness. His grace is sufficient for us, just as it says in 2 Corinthians

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”2 Corinthians 12:9

Kids, like us, become stressed when dealing with new problems or situations.

They act out. Complain. They cry over small issues.

Eventually, just like us, they manage to get through the stress in time and return to a sense of normal once the stressors are taken away.

Whether the event is beautiful or difficult, the stress that affects us also affects our children. They, like us, need extra love, attention and guidance. Ultimately, they need comfort,  and we are the ones most equipped to give that to them!

However, how do we do this when we are stressed ourselves?

Throughout my experiences, I have learned how true this statement is:  His grace is sufficient for us. During the storm, however, we often forget this essential piece of scripture.

Here are some ways that I have learned to accept God’s grace over my family:

First, we must acknowledge and accept the idea of “survival mode.”

This is when we put away our regular standards of cleaning, meal prep, etc. to simply do whatever is easy for a while. This may mean ordering pizza, simple lunches and meals, having a more messy house, being behind with the laundry, etc. We live in a world with lots of resources and conveniences, and it is in these increased times of stress that we can use these tools to increase peace and harmony in our family.

As mothers, we must accept the grace that God freely gives through Jesus, and praise Him that our salvation is not dependent on a meticulously cleaned house or having a perfectly balanced meal each and every day.

We saturate our home with Jesus.

What did this look like for me? I would listen to faith encouraging podcasts while doing the dishes, I would listen to worship music when folding laundry.

When our home was completely saturated, we were constantly reminded of God’s goodness despite our difficult circumstances.

I put down “necessary” tasks to play more with my children.

I made it a goal to spend at least half an hour of alone time with each of them every day. It’s an important choice, but I’ll put off chores and necessary tasks to focus on them.

This time helped me to feel like I was actually doing something, but it was also a relaxing time to just enjoy my kids. During these times, when I took time to listen, I could hear their stress and understand their dilemmas.

Having allowed the Lord to minister to my heart through His word, I was able to draw from the well deep within me to minister to my children in these moments.

Lastly, we must acknowledge that oftentimes, we are simply not enough for our children.

Even when we put these tips into practice, we still may not have enough to pour out to our children. We may lose our temper easily with them. We will not solve their problems or eliminate their stress.

Many times we are simply not enough for our children. This is where our increased faithfulness truly lies – we, in our faith, rely on God to be enough for our children.

We do what we can, but acknowledge that ultimately He can minister to their hearts more than we can. We can lead them to the Lord, pointing them to His Word.

As mothers, we need to tell our children stories of how God has proven His goodness throughout our own lives.

It’s important that we do not allow ourselves to become discouraged, but rather be encouraged that we can do all things and the Lord cares for us deeply and our children as well. He will see them through this, just as He is seeing us through it.

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