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The Pressure on Parents

7th Dec 2021

This time of year can leave parents feeling a little over-whelmed. Social media and photos and posts shared can leave us feeling the whole world is making the most of the build up to Christmas. It can feel hard if we haven’t had time, or haven’t been able, for financial, or health, reasons, to take part in the activities and festivities. The pressure to deliver can feel overwhelming as children, without knowing what they are saying, inadvertently add to that pressure with their comments on what others are doing. A constant barrage of donations, gifts, bake sales and raffle tickets can also leave parents feeling inadequate and overwhelmed. But you aren’t alone in feeling that way.

How can we help ourselves to feel better?

Stop the scroll. That passive scroll through all your friends and families social media accounts will only make you feel low. Question yourself as to why you are doing it and what you are gaining from it. If the answer is about comparison and that it’s making you feel low, it’s time to put the phone down.

Be proactively kind. It can actually make a real difference to leave a positive comment on another’s profile. Instead of feeling envious or comparing yourself to them, focus on the photos themselves and what they show. ‘This looks fun’ or ‘You all look really happy here’ – positive comments that will add real value to their day will also add real value to yours. An act of kindness uplifts our own mood as much as it does anothers.

Keep a log of all upcoming events, donations, raffles etc so that you can plan accordingly, rather than being caught off guard. And be realistic with yourself about what you can and cannot afford/manage to fit in. Some schools offer assistance if you are struggling financially and no one expects you to be buying a raffle ticket or donating money if you are already finding things a struggle.

Don’t be afraid to say no. Embrace the ‘Joy of Missing Out’ rather than the ‘Fear of Missing Out’. The amount of activities, especially if you have multiple children, can feel extremely overwhelming. Learning to say ‘No’ can be very hard for a lot of us. Be honest with yourself – when did you last say no to someone? Learning to say ‘no’ to others is a life skill that will help in many areas, but can definitely help to stop the pressure we are faced with at this time of year.

Above all  – reach out to others and talk about how you feel. It can make such a difference to speak to another and have some support. Realising others feel the same as we do can go a long way to helping take away some of the pressure experienced at this time of year. No one is living the life they portray on social media. We are all just muddling through the best we can with what we have available to us. Let’s all look out for each other and help each other through.


Written by Lucy Howard, BulliesOut Head of Content and Media


Thanks to Yasin Yusuf @yasinyusuf for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 



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