Tips for reducing parenting stress

Feeling stressed? Between working, cooking, cleaning, managing schedules, and chauffeuring, parenting is a lot of work! Studies show that parents who report higher levels of stress are more likely to be authoritarian, harsh, and negative in interactions with their child. Reducing stress can allow you to relish the time you have with your children and build a happier, more positive relationship.

If you’re a parent of a young child, check out our tips for managing stress:

Have more fun with your children

Find interactive activities that you and your child both enjoy. Try reading to them, crafting, or making a fort! By spending positive time together, you will create memories and build a relationship outside of your daily parental responsibilities.

Live a balanced life

Don’t spread yourself too thin by signing yourself or your young children up for too many appointments and activities. Coordinating multiple packed schedules puts stress on both parents and children. Leave some time open on your calendar so you have time to unwind.

Make time for yourself

When your life revolves around someone else, it can be hard to tend to your own needs. Whether it’s exercising, watching TV, talking to a friend on the phone, or just taking a long nap, focusing on yourself can help you recharge! While some parents may feel guilty for having time for themselves, it actually improves their relationships with their children. A less stressed parent is a more patient, energetic parent! And if you can’t seem to find time for yourself…

Ask for help

Enlist the help of your partner, family, friends or a child care professional to care for your child. Even your older children can watch or play with your young child while you have some time for yourself.

Find support

Being able to talk about your struggles can be a major help with alleviating stress. Spend some time talking to your partner, friends, or therapist to take the weight off your shoulders. Utilizing your support system is not only a form of self-care, but can also allow you to hear some new ideas for coping with parenting stress.

If you’re feeling stressed, our Birth to Five Helpline is a free service open to all Arizona families with young children. Call or text 877-705-KIDS (5437) for free child development support, or visit for more information.

All content in this article, including any advice or commentary from Southwest Human Development staff and/or others, should be considered an opinion and is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for medical or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the direct advice of your own trusted professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the child/ren in your care. Southwest Human Development does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures or other information that may be mentioned in this article. You may contact Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline at 1-877-705-KIDS (5437) to speak with one of our early childhood professionals for personalized assistance. Birth to Five Helpline specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.