By Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott
Children are always a blessing. But children bring a tremendous change to your home and your relationship as you previously knew it. And if your kids have intense, spirited, strong personalities, the changes to your world are even more pronounced! If one of your personalities is also intense (or both!), this makes life all the more interesting.
Today, we’re sharing a few tips on how to cope with intensity in your home.
ACTIVELY MANAGE YOUR STRESS LEVELS.
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to keep your stress levels as low as possible. Intensity in your marriage or family could increase any life or work stress that is already present, creating a pile-on effect…in other words, not the best recipe for a peaceful home.
Start by working with your spouse to identify ways the two of you can reduce your own stress load. This might involve cutting back on activities, hiring some extra help around the house, or saying “no” more often to obligations that make you feel overloaded. Then, consider whether your kids need additional help in this area.
If Mom and Dad can keep their stress and intensity dialed down, this will have a positive impact on the kids. Win-win!
INJECT HUMOR AND FUN INTO EVERYDAY LIFE.
Laughter is definitely the best medicine, and it soothes all manner of ills. Take time with your spouse to have fun, and laugh on purpose. Be silly with each other and with your kids, and make life as happy and lighthearted as possible. Focusing on negativity and anxiety will only serve to amplify the intensity you’re attempting to calm.
Use humor to diffuse intense situations and emotions, particularly when your kids are having a meltdown or a hard day. When it comes to dealing with hard adult issues, agree with your spouse to try to keep things as light as you can.
Sometimes the only way to keep from crying is to find something to laugh about. If you’re feeling the pressure of an intense marriage or parenting kids with intense personalities, this is definitely true.
REMEMBER THAT THIS IS ONLY FOR A SEASON.
It’s all about perspective. Remember, your kids won’t be little for very long, and before you know it, you and your spouse will be empty-nesters. That may not be easy to picture now, but time passes by more quickly than most of us realize.
Take the time and effort to help your kids learn to manage their intense feelings throughout their lives, and they’ll be able to manage them when they’re grown. Work to manage your own, and you’ll be better equipped to help your kids!
Intensity in your home might be overwhelming at times, but you have what it takes to cope and create a healthy, peaceful, thriving family life. Keep your stress as low as possible, remember to use humor, and keep in mind that this is just for a season; it won’t be like this for long!
If you would like help with your intense marriage or intense kids, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with one of our coaches or counselors.