Your love for your kids, your determination for them to be healthy and successful, and your willingness to support them are feelings shared by parents in all locations. However, parenting stress can be affected by geographic location, financial stability, job status, your ability to find work, your beliefs about raising kids, and the ease with which you are able to access parenting supports when you want or need them.
Let’s consider parenting stressors in city and suburban locations. If you live in a large and diverse city, your parenting pressures will be affected by your financial circumstances, and by what is going on in your neighborhood. If your ” ‘hood” is generally economically comfortable your parenting climate may be influenced by social competition for getting little kids into private schools, or pressures for kids’ to perform on standard tests. While parents in these locations may worry about kids becoming street savvy, the threat of violence may be less prevalent than in other areas. In more affluent city communities, support services may be more readily available and easily purchased. However, they still have to be found.
In smaller cities, or suburban areas around larger cities, pressures may be similar to those mentioned above, but some stressors may be greater. Stress around transporting kids to activities, maintaining a house, and keeping job security while supporting a growing family may impact your parenting. In less privileged neighborhoods, the parenting climate may be affected by what is happening “on the street,” the need to work more than one job, and in some instances concerns about safety. Access to supports may be harder to find, and less readily available. However, with determination, you can find them.
To reduce parenting stress in any location, finding support is a crucial factor. To locate support, you can check yellow pages for family counselors, look online for “Family Resource Centers,” ask other parents for recommendations (no stigma–we’re all in the same boat!) consult with school guidance counselors, and/or call neighborhood hospitals for information.
You are determined for your children to succeed. You can be just as determined to find support for yourself, for the kids, or the whole family, as needed. Stressors may vary, but emotional anxiety can result regardless of where you live, and the body’s experience of stress does not check a map. But, you do not have to go it alone in any location. Take your determination “to the street” and find the help that can help your to lower your stress and become a more effective parent.