As a parent, you may not be able to run to the spa every time you need to relieve stress, but there are a few things you can do to care for yourself so that you can continue being the super parent you are daily!
Just as it is important to practice model manners for your child in order for them to develop good habits, the same applies to positive self-talk. Raising a child who struggles with ADHD may come with many discouraging moments, but continuing to do your best makes you a super parent. You deserve to be encouraged and given grace in hard times. Why is it that when a friend is going through a hard time it is so easy to tell them everything that makes them special, yet we do not do the same thing with ourselves? Practicing positive self-talk changes our attitude about the day and relieves stress with grace for ourselves which extends to others.
- Take some time to think about your child’s character, who they are, and who they will become. Write a letter to your child, letting them know all of the special things that you appreciate about them, the things that make them uniquely themselves. Whether you share this letter with them now or in the future, it will encourage them and you.
- Model positive self-talk in front of your child with verbal positivity or written reminders around the house, like “you are smart, you are kind, you are important”.
We have all heard the saying “life is better when we do it together.” As cliche as that statement may be, there is so much value and truth to it. As you walk through your journey of parenthood you may find yourself feeling alone, exhausted, and at times hopeless. Know that you are NOT alone! There are so many others dealing with similar parenting struggles. Part of finding freedom in these struggles is talking about them and working through them with a community. Encouragement from a partner, friend, family member, or support group who understands will help you to feel heard, seen, and ready to begin each day empowered.
- If you are having a hard time finding those who are on the same parenting journey as you, try searching for a support group in your area. If there are no groups nearby, there are several private support groups on Facebook and Instagram who are accepting new members!
Sometimes stress begins with the level of expectation we set up for ourselves and for the people around us. As a parent, your goal is to empower your child to learn and grow at an appropriate pace. Understanding the level of your child’s development will help you set realistic expectations for present and future levels. When realistic household, educational, and overall developmental expectations are set for your child specifically, the stress of unmet expectations will melt away. Yes, the realistic expectations set may still be difficult, but they will be attainable for your child.
Along with setting up attainable expectations for your child, be sure that you are also setting up realistic expectations for yourself. As much as we would all love to be superhuman, our souls, minds, and bodies need to rest. Whether it is asking for help, removing items from your schedule, or saying “no” to an activity, remember to take care of yourself so that you can care for your child the best you can!
- Start with working with your child’s teacher to establish a level of development in order to set realistic expectations.
- Take a look at your schedule and ask yourself “Is there anything I can remove to make my family's life less stressful?”
Evaluate your Day
By day’s end, it can be easy to feel discouraged especially if it was a hard day for you and your child. Although there may have been negative aspects to the day, try to think of every positive aspect. These can be as simple as you and your child laughing together or being able to have a quick catch-up conversation with a friend. You can allow yourself to feel the hard situations that day and think about how to improve for next time but remember the good. Remembering the good is what will encourage you to keep moving forward.
- Write it down! Journaling is therapeutic for so many. After the kids have gone to bed, find a comfy spot, light a candle, and break out that notebook and pen! Date the page and jot down the negatives of the day with action steps on how to improve, then jot down everything that made you smile. This practice will help you remember how you overcame hard times and focused on the positive.