The Stress Of Raising Kids (Part 2)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

The Stress Of Raising Kids Part 2This week, I am focusing on the stress of raising kids

In my first post on this topic, I listed a number of common problems and situation which can cause parents to become stressed.

I also made the following statement:

“Granted it’s not all stressful and there’s lots of joy and happiness.  But what do we do when things get tough?  How do we cope with the stress of raising kids?” 

Key Coping Skills

Obviously, with so many different potential child-rearing problems, there is no way I can cover all the coping skills that parents might need.  And with only two posts to devote, I can only pick out a few.  So I’ll try to choose three or four that I think are particularly important and then leave it to you and other readers to share your favorite…or most helpful…coping skills in the comments section below this post and the next.

The first two child-raising coping skills I want to highlight are:

1)    Flexibility/Adaptability

2)    Embracing Uncertainty


If there’s one major coping skill you will need to draw upon frequently as a parent, it has to be flexibility and adaptability.  No matter how much you plan your child-raising strategies, things will rarely go exactly as you planned.

You child will behave differently than you expected. Your spouse or significant other or relatives will frequently let you down.  New problems will emerge that catch you completely by surprise.

So you’ll need to be very flexible and adaptable to respond to all the unpredictable curveballs life will inevitably throw you.

On the other hand, if you are rigid, fixed in your opinions, and insistent on doing things in certain predetermined ways, you will probably have much more stress as a parent than you would have if you were more flexible and more willing to change and adapt to things as they unfold.

Also, as your child progresses through different stages in his or her life, whatever parenting strategies which might have worked at one stage might fail miserably at the next.  This is another reason why flexibility and adaptability are so critically important to successful parenting.

Embracing Uncertainty

Almost everything about parenting is highly uncertain.  We would all like to know the exact formula for raising happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids.  But no such formula exists, because kids can be very different and require different types of caring and nurturing.

There is no manual for raising kids successfully, so we are all mostly in the dark as we try to figure out what’s best to do as we go along.  I’m not sure there is any way around this inherent uncertainty, so you might as well embrace it and accept the fact that you will almost always be operating without knowing for sure if you are doing the right thing.

In order to do this well, you need to have flexibility and adaptability, so you can choose a course of action and then modify it quickly if you see that it’s not working or that other creative solutions might be required.

Your Turn Now

Well those are two of my leading candidates for stress-reducing parenting skills.  What are some that you have found to be essential?  Please add to this discussion in the comments sections below.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brian J Smith May 1, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Hi. An excellent topic for discussion. Underpinning adult perception of children is that we were a child once and during that period we lacked the knowledge our experience of life has subsequently offered. Relatively speaking children see life as black and white – our experience has given us a multi-coloured option. What they see as simple we see as complex.

We should not then, be criticsal of children that do not exhibit what we see as a greater awareness. A skill that I would add to your list is ‘tolerance’. All too often adults seem to expect children to instantly accept their (adults) greater wisdom. To do so may resolve a current issue but more importantly, it would also deny the child the invaluable knowledge born of experience.

Whilst they are children – let them be so – allow them to act so. As we did once.


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