Dad’s Bad Moods Matter, Too

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Image via Flickr/ Renee Barron

Create your own stress tool kit:

When your kids are under stress, you help them find ways to manage it. Why not give yourself the same gift? Try a few of these stress reduction tips to get you started:

  • Daily 20 – daily exercise, even in small amounts will decrease your stress levels
  • Guided relaxation – try a meditation or guided relaxation app to help you take mini breaks throughout the day. You can set the app for five minutes during your lunch break.
  • Journal your best and worst – write your three worst moments of the day followed by your three best. Revisit later to problem solve those “worsts”.
  • Talk – I see a lot of parents who struggle to communicate with each other because they don’t want to add to the other’s load, or they don’t want their partner to one-up them. Take the time to talk and listen every single day.

Family feelings board:

We all have emotions, yet parents tend to hide theirs from the kids. This is a mistake. You can share your ups and downs without burdening them with adult problems. When we talk feelings as a family, we all cope together.

{ MORE: Ever Wonder Why Parenting Is Just So Hard? }

Have your kids create a family feelings board so each member can check in and label their feelings of the day (or moment). This helps everyone verbalize and process emotions together.

Get help:

We all need help sometimes. Don’t be afraid to seek outside help both as individuals and as a family. Sometimes a few family therapy sessions can be the difference between a family overwhelmed by negative emotions and a family that learns work through the ups and downs together.

How does your household deal with bad moods?

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Dad’s Bad Moods Matter, Too

Katie Hurley, LCSW is a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and writer in Los Angeles, CA. She is the author of "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls" and "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World". She earned her BA in Psychology and Women's Studies from Boston College and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. She divides her time between her family, her private practice and her writing. Passionate about he ... More

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