Tips offered on taking parenting stress in stride

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) – Wouldn’t it be nice if kids came with instruction manuals?

Of course, they don’t. However, on Monday night, some Tri-State caregivers got the chance to learn helpful strategies for managing stress that comes along with taking care of children.

A few dozen people, more than 50, who were largely parents, showed up for the presentation. The big takeaways were strategies on how to build resilience.

Founder of Caring Safely, Charlene Richard, says it was her own burnout she felt like a social worker more than a decade ago that lead to the creation of this organization.

Her team trains and educates caregivers on ways to prevent those same overwhelming feelings.

She says some of the most common stressors for parents are finances, managing the behavior of children and finding safe and reliable childcare.

Richard, who works with people across both Canada and the US, says building resilience can reduce stress and when the parents model this new behavior, children can also learn how to reduce stress.

“Sometimes in the middle of the day, our stress can be high,” Richard explained. “Frustration can start to increase, and we become very reactive. And, then, we regret what we say or we feel shame, or judgment, and we wish we could take it back. One of the strategies we talk about is learning how to recognize when our stress signs are increasing, so we can pause, remove ourselves for a few moments, and relax and come back to respond in a proactive way.”

The event was hosted by Youth First, an Evansville nonprofit which helps strengthen the lives of young people and their families.

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