Let me ask you some questions. Are you feeling tired? Have you lost the pleasure in parenting? Are you emotionally distancing yourself from your children? Are you feeling tired, and only do what you have to do with your children? If you have answered yes to one or more of the questions you may have parenting burnout.
Parenting burnout can make you feel detached from your children and unsure of your parenting abilities. Whether you are a father, mother or a single parent it can occur when you have been exposed to too much stress. Depending on what personality style you have will depend on how you manage this stress.
In the DISC Behavioral Model there are four types of personalities and each of these have different needs, emotions and fears. DISC is an acronym for Dominance, Interactive, Steadiness and Compliance, and these are the four styles. D's (Dominant) and I's (Interactive) tend to be extroverted whereas S's (Steady) and C's (Compliant) tend to be introverted.
With Introverts and Extroverts there’s a tension because both have a different pace. Dominant and Interactive Styles are outgoing and have a FAST Pace. Whereas Steady and Compliant Styles have a SLOWER Pace.
When one parent is a D Style and has a need to win, the other one may sense they have been short changed. And the outcome is resentment. Even though the S Style parent holds on to resentment, they do get along with everybody when it comes to tasks. They are the universal antidote for disharmony in the family. They are calm and and can stabilise conflict situations. But they really do need to work on forgiving the other person, as they can be a bit of a grudge holder at times.
When it comes to personality style combinations, theses three combinations are the least compatible naturally:
The most difficult two styles that parent together are the D’s and C’s. For it to work both must be willing to yield their personal control needs, with D’s deciding to give some space and the C’s learning to be much more direct and open about their concerns.
So, what can we do as parents when we have these combinations of Styles. It’s really about practicing tolerance by accepting these differences and not being so judgemental.
Also practice patience especially if you are a D Style. Forgiving others also allows you to let go of resentments, and will free you from the needless pain of reliving a hurt over and over. Practice self-forgiveness so that you can move forward, ready to do things differently, with compassion for yourself and have faith that you can change.
Under stress the D Style parent will dictate and become augmentative. They become irritated with indecision and inefficiency. So the I Style can definitely irritate them with their lack of follow through and disorganisation.
The I Style parent will become sarcastic and superficial and is irritated when they have to deal with routines and the complexity of bringing up a family and life in general.
Under stress the S Style will become submissive and indecisive and is irritated by others that are insensitive. If anything unexpected should happen this will also irritate them. Whereas the C Style parent will become withdrawn and headstrong when stressed and when others make mistakes or are irrational it will irritate them.
Are you starting to see where the burnout might occur when each of the Styles is irritated and is also constantly trying to get their behavioural needs met? The C Style parent is a perfectionist and they will constantly be trying to find the facts in everything they do and their personal limitation is that they are too critical. Even with themselves they are their worst critics. They can also be seen as impersonal.
So, what can you do if you are feeling burnt out?
As a parent it’s not that easy to quit your job either is it! Well the first thing is to realise that you are burnt out or on the way to being out. And then ask for support. Each of the styles might find it hard to do this.
The D’s like to be in control and will not want someone else telling them what to do. The I’s personal fear is rejection and social disapproval so they might not ask for help as the rest of their extended family might disapprove of them. The S’s and the C’s both hide their emotions and will need time to process it all.
Tips for eliminating parenting burnout
It’s about having the courage to reach out and ask for the support you need, because at the end of the day of you don’t the family dynamics will suffer. That includes you as well!
Have compassion for yourself and take time out to recharge your batteries especially if you are an introvert. And don’t feel guilty for doing so. S Style parents you don’t have to continually be steady the pace 110% of the time! Let your kids serve you sometimes!
Be gentle on yourself and find someone that will listen to you without judging you so that you can as I say “empty your cup”. And remember for things to change first you must change!
Sandra is very passionate about supporting others to be the best they can be through sharing her stories and experiences she has gained along the way...