No one can eliminate stress from parenting, but building parental resilience can affect how a parent deals with stress. Parental resilience is the ability to constructively cope with and bounce back from all types of challenges. It is about creatively solving problems, building trusting relationships, maintaining a positive attitude, and seeking help when needed.
Parents are resilient when they are able to call forth their inner strength to proactively meet personal challenges and those in relation to their child, manage adversities, heal the effects of trauma and thrive given the unique characteristics and circumstances of their family.
Demonstrating resilience increases parents’ self-efficacy because they are able to see evidence of both their ability to face challenges competently and to make wise choices about addressing challenges. Parental resilience also has a positive effect on the parent, the child, and the parent-child relationship.
By managing stressors, parents feel better and can provide more nurturing attention to their child, which enables their child to form a secure emotional attachment. This in turn, helps children build resilience when they experience stress.
Parental Resilience Action Ideas:
Questions to ask yourself:
- Where do you draw your strength?
- How does this help you in parenting?
- What are your dreams for yourself and your family?
- What kind of worries and frustrations do you deal with during the day? How do you solve them?
- How are you able to meet your children’s needs when you are stressed?
- How does your spouse, partner, or closest friend support you?
- When you are under stress, what is most helpful?
- What do you do to take care of yourself when you are stressed?
What to look for when resilient:
- Problem solving skills
- Ability to cope with stress
- Self-care strategies
- Help-seeking behavior
- Receiving mental health or substance abuse services if needed
- Not allowing stress to impact parenting
Activities for self-reflection:
- Write down your self-care strategies and make sure you are taking time for self-care each day.
- Identify situations you find stressful and make a plan in advance for how you will keep yourself calm and centered in these situations.