How to deal with stress

Parenting specialist Mary Hartzell, MEd, shares advice for parents on ways to handle the stress and challenges that come with being a parent
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How to deal with stress

Well, it's pretty hard to be a parent and not feel stressed at times, because, you know children present not only challenges, but often very unexpected ones. And it's difficult for us to always be ready to be reflective and talking to them in more productive ways. So, I always feel like it's best to tell our children the truth and acknowledge it. It's to say, You know what? I'm really getting frustrated right now. I just have too many things to do. I'm trying to get dinner ready for us. And, you know, Daddy is not going to be able to come home tonight. I just don't/can't listen to the yelling when you're fighting. So, I'm going to go, and I don't want to get mad, because when I get mad then you know sometimes we get mad, we say kind of unkind things. I don't want to do that. I love you so much. But I'm going to go get and make a cup of tea, I'm going to get a glass of water. I'm going to calm down. Then, after a little better, we can make a plan. You can be thinking of what we can do tonight. So we can have a good time together, even though Daddy isn't going to be able to come home.

Parenting specialist Mary Hartzell, MEd, shares advice for parents on ways to handle the stress and challenges that come with being a parent


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Mary Hartzell, MEd

Author & Parent Educator

Mary Hartzell has over 30 years experience working with children, parents and teachers. She is the director of The First Presbyterian Nursery School, a nationally recognized early childhood program in Santa Monica, California. She is co-author of Parenting from the Inside Out and also has created a series of CDs on Parent/Child Relationships. Her parent education classes and her private consulting practice have benefited hundreds of families.

Mary began her career teaching in the public school system and completed her master’s degree in early childhood education and psychology at the University of California in Los Angeles. She taught in the early childhood unit at the UCLA Lab School and supervised student teachers. 

Mary is the mother of three grown children and has four grandchildren. During the years she was raising her own children she taught in the gifted program of the Los Angeles Unified Schools, primarily in South Central L.A. For the past 20 years Mary has been a workshop presenter at national, state and local conferences of the National Association of the Education of Young Children. She has been a lecturer at UCLA extension and is adjunct faculty at Santa Monica Community College in their early childhood department. She also provides workshops, teacher education and consulting with schools throughout the United States.

Mary has served as president of the North Bay Chapter of the Association for the Education of Young Children, Vice President of the Association of the Child Development Specialists. She was the recipient of the first Pediatric Aids Foundation’s “Hero’s Award” for her work with children and parents.

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