The study concluded that 1 in 10 parents experienced severe exhaustion during the lockdown


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Parenting can be a daunting and stressful task at any time, but parenting through the pandemic can increase pressure on parents, according to New Research.

Dr. Kara Sweet of the University of Canterbury (UC) conducted a survey of fathers in Aotearoa New Zealand as part of a global study conducted in 15 countries to assess levels of parental fatigue during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

I found that 10. 5% of fathers in this country have experienced high levels of parental fatigue, which is defined as a combination of chronic stress, burnout, a feeling that parenting is not as good as it used to be, loss of pleasure or gratification in parenting, and emotional distancing from their children..

« What levels of parental fatigue are of concern, so we need to understand the implications behind these numbers and what can be done to support parents who are struggling, » says Dr. Sweet..

Interestingly, the lockout itself was not a strong indicator of parental fatigue. “For some parents, the lockdown was a positive experience that gave them more quality time with their children. The enforced restrictions allowed time for family, creativity, and exercise and some parents appreciated this time. For others, they have lost the natural comfort that childcare arrangements and normal social activities provide. Parenting during the lockdown was ongoing, and parents never got a breather. The lockdown appears to exacerbate the current challenges of some Wanao.

The results of the study show that 83. 7% of parents said Covid-19 has had a positive effect on parenting, compared to 26. 8% of parents say Covid-19 has had a negative impact.

“Those who had a negative experience prior to the lockdown were usually challenged. Parents who used violent parenting behaviors, fathers who had difficulty shifting focus from themselves to their children, parents who were neither employed nor remunerated, and parents who lived in relatively disadvantaged neighborhoods were more at risk of parental exhaustion during the lockdown period.

There were also protective factors that helped parents overcome the lockdown. These included children’s independence and parents’ ability to regulate their emotions. For Christchurch parents, there have been some benefits from developing resilience through the tragic events of earthquakes and mosque attacks..

The study sample was small, and would have benefited from more Māori and Pasifika representations, but it provides valuable starting points for further investigation..

“The cool thing about these results is that they show that there are strategies parents can learn to protect them from burnout.. We can teach parents ways to foster independence in their children as well as develop skills and strategies to regulate their thinking and emotions, especially in times of uncertainty and heightened stress..

“To prevent parental fatigue, parents can address potential stressors before a pandemic or other major changes occur.. If they prepared in advance with strategies to manage their emotions and behaviors and helped their children become more independent, then they already protected themselves from the potential negative effects that can come with chronic stress or exhaustion during a pandemic.. In fact, parents’ emotional regulation and children’s independence can be protective factors for parents experiencing burnout, not only in a pandemic situation but at any time..

The study indicates a shift from a focus on child behavior to improving parenting skills. “We often focus on the child’s behavior and how this affects the well-being of the parents. We usually give parents strategies to support the child, but these results indicate that it is helpful for us to shift the focus to the parents. We can build parents’ skills, skills in emotional regulation, and their skills for seeing the positives in negative situations. These can protect the parents from burnout and thus enhance the well-being of the Tamariki.

The study is part of the International Investigation of Parental Fatigue (IIPB). Conducted from the end of April 2020 to the beginning of July 2020, corresponding to the Covid-19 lockdown in Aotearoa New Zealand. There were 132 participants, of whom 87 completed the entire questionnaire.

Hopefully it won’t happen, but parents can prepare now to be more flexible during any future closures:

Closure, Occupational Burnout, Coronavirus, New Zealand, Experience

World News – Australia – One in 10 parents suffers from severe exhaustion during lockdown, according to the study


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