Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness –George Santayana
Starting at the BASE, the best way to void stress is to anticipate it!
If you know what’s coming up, like a boring lunch where your child resorts to banging forks with knives for fun, plan ahead and bring along some fun tabletop activities. If it’s traffic time and your child begins all sorts of complaints in the car, bring along some of his/her favourite music to ease the ride. Whatever the case is, think ahead and be ready to decrease the stress factor.
Use your words:
It might be one of those long days where nothing went right, and the last thing you need is a nagging toddler. Don’t worry, and don’t force it. Burnout is a thing, and it’s okay. Take some time off, do what it takes to distress, but make sure you explain to the child what you’re not feeling too well today. This will avoid the child’s guilt feeling, as well as yours. Use the good days to make it up.
If you find yourself in an adult situation where you’re engaging in what we usually refer to as “ inappropriate behavior”, try not to do so in front of the child. Any screaming or arguing using adult language should not be done in front of the child. This will only reflect on her behavior in later times.
Children are born with a limited vocal and emotional dictionary. Putting names to emotions and handling stress is not someone they are born with, but something they learn. It’s ways helpful, when feeling overwhelmed, to model positive ways to handle it in front of your child. Talk about stress, tell them how you’re feeling and why, and show them what you can do to help. Make sure what you’re doing is a good example, like exercising, playing a fun game or talking to a friend. (Later on, you can hide from your children and scream it out in private, they don’t need to know.)