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- If your father is feeling stressed, you can show your appreciation and help with household chores, but make sure you’re not internalising his stress as your own
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My dad is our family’s breadwinner, and he has been under a lot of pressure at work. I want to help him out, but I can’t help him do his work. What can I do for him to relieve his stress?
Thanks, How Can I Help
Dear How Can I Help,
How much you care about your father is truly admirable – it demonstrates empathy and selflessness. While it might not be possible to help your father by doing his work, there are other ways to help him reduce his stress.
Show your appreciation and gratitude
Stressed parents may often seem tired, impatient and frustrated, but these feelings can often be turned around with appreciative words and encouragement. When your father returns home, show your gratitude through kind words, a warm hug or a cup of tea.
Share the workload at home
Consider the household chores your father is usually responsible for, and ask him what you can do to help out at home. Whether he wants you to help with dinner or to focus on keeping your room clean, this is a good way to show him you care through your actions.
Some people just need to discuss what has been on their minds, and a quality chat could help your father relieve his stress.
You can ask him about his work, while also sharing about your life. Having a better understanding of your father can deepen your relationship, too.
Just be careful that you don’t internalise his stress as your own. There are healthy ways to show you care, but if the work pressure is really getting to him, there is only so much you can do. If the stress is affecting your father’s well-being, he should consider chatting with a professional about his emotions.
Best of luck, Friend of a Friend