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    What is Parenting Stress?

    4 months ago · · 0 comments · Sticky

    What is Parenting Stress?

    what is parenting stress
    what is parenting stress?

    Definition of parenting stress?

    If you’re reading this article as a parent, I’m sure you’re not surprised to discover that parenting stress is at an all time high. Psychologists have labeled parenting stress as the distress a parent feels when you feel out of control, when you feel the demands placed on you are too high, or you don’t have the coping resources to achieve these demands (Deater-Deckard 1998).

    Impact of Parenting Stress on Working Mothers

    When we investigate the question – what is parenting stress – we need to look at the impact that work-life balance has on a mothers ability to cope.

    what is parenting stress
    what is parenting stress?

    Working women have been reported to be 40% more stressed than the general population.

    I often talk about the fact that when women conquered the right to go to work, they were left with two jobs – one as a career and one at home. In our counselling and life coaching sessions, working mothers often tell me they ‘clock-off’ one job and ‘clock-on’ to the next job as they progress from the office to home life.

    Regardless of who takes on the home duties (thank-you to many partners who are taking on more responsibilities at home) – someone has to do it! You either pay someone, or ask for help from a family member/close friend to clean your home, look after your children, cook and pay the bills.

    Or… You/your partner/housemate – have to do it!!

    Unfortunately, because mothers tend to take on most of the childcaring duties, they are usually the ones doing the second job at home.

    A 2019 Study Conducted by the University of Texas, the University of Maryland, and the University of Southern California found that women with children and a heterosexual male partner undertook most of the housework.

    The study identified the following predicted Minutes of Mother’s Time in Activities, by Marital Status based on a 24 hour period.
    MarriedCohabitingNever MarriedDivorced/Separated
    Note: Based on American Time Use Surveys (2003-2012). Model controls for extended family member, number of children, children under two years old, children ages two to five, education, employment, race, age, and weekend diary day.
    Source: Joanna R. Pepin, Liana C. Sayer, and Lynne M. Casper, “Marital Status and Mothers’ Time Use: Childcare, Housework, Leisure, and Sleep,” Demography 55, no. 1 (2018): 107-33.

    The results showed that over a 24 hour period mothers across the board where spending around 2 hours per day on childcare. However, women in heterosexual marriages and those cohabiting spent almost 3 hours a day on housework. Whilst this was more than single mothers, both were spending a significant time over 24 hours engaging in household chores.

    Most interesting was the study found that married mothers were sacrificing their sleep and leisure in order to keep a tidy home.

    I can relate to this after deciding to swap my gym workout for housework this morning – just to be able to fit it all in.

    Physical aspects of parenting stress

    what is parenting stress

     “Maternal stress has been linked to harsh parenting, maternal depression, and poor cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical development in children and may have long lasting effects on the well-being of both mother and child.” BeLeu, R (Associate Professor of health policy and administration at Penn State)

    Research shows that high levels of parenting stress have been associated with increased risk of:

    • parental depression
    • marital conflict
    • poorer physical health
    • less effective parenting

    Stress in general has a detrimental impact on your health and wellbeing. It inhibits your general functioning and has been related to long term illness.

    Impact parenting stress has on your child

    what is parenting stress

    Parenting stress has been shown to lead to:

    • harsher discipline or withdrawal
    • inconsistent parenting
    • insecurity in children
    • increased child behavior problems

    Parenting stress can be managed and controlled

    In summary, stress is not good for anyone. It impacts your physical and emotional wellbeing and reduces your ability to concentrate Stress can cause long term health issues and has a detrimental impact on your child/ren. It also directly impacts the quality of the relationships you build with those you love most.

    If you are experiencing significant parenting stress, download my free Calm with Confidence – Calm Parenting Program. This program has been designed to arm yourself with proven parenting skills that will support you to feel more confident and calm in your day to day parenting life. The best part is that it’s absolutely free.

    what is parenting stress
    Calm Parenting Free Course
    what is parenting stress
    Author, Counsellor and Life Coach
    Founder of Help For Mums & Happy Life

    Which parenting style is best?

    4 months ago · · 0 comments

    Which parenting style is best?

    Have you ever wondered which parenting style is best?

    If you walk into the parenting section of any bookstore you’re bound to find a multiple of books with authors claiming they have the answer to best parenting. From researchers to mums to famous people – everyone seems to be an expert in parenting. Parenting advice comes in all shapes and sizes. No-wonder parents are so confused about which parenting style is best to achieve peace and harmony at home.

    The developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind (and later Maccoby and Martin) spent years researching parenting styles. They found the most commonly used parenting styles and deciphered which parenting style is best. The categorized parenting into four broad parenting styles:

    The Four Parenting Styles

    1. Authoritarian parenting – placing demands, but low responsiveness
    2. Authoritative parenting – placing high demands and expectations
    3. Permissive parenting – placing low demands and responsiveness
    4. Neglectful or Uninvolved parenting
    which parenting style is best

    So which parenting style is best?

    Over time the researchers concluded that ‘Authoritative’ parenting was the most highly recommended.

    What is Authoritative Parenting?

    Authoritative parenting combines warmth, sensitivity and clear boundaries. It has been found to produce the most positive results academically and emotionally in children.

    Authoritative is different to Authoritarian parenting which is rigid and creates a demanding environment for children. In contrast, parents who engage in Authoritative parenting are observed to be in control. They also parent with the best interest of their children in mind. Authoritative parenting centers on setting limits, reasoning with children, and being responsive to their emotional needs.

    which parenting style is best
    Which parenting style is best?

    Authoritative parenting sets high standards for children. However, these standards are coupled with empathy, respect and are nurturing. Authoritative parents are supportive to children’s needs, clear on their expectations and parent consistently.

    Examples of Authoritative Parenting

    Meal times are usually the place where parenting styles are put to the test. Fussy, messy and distracted eaters can push parents buttons. The reactions parents have towards a child’s refusal to eat, highlights their parenting style very clearly.

    • The Authoritarian parent is likely to get angry and demand the child sit there until the meal is finished.
    • The permissive parent is likely to make something else the child prefers.
    • The Authoritative parent is likely to discuss why the child does not want to eat and the reasons why it’s important to eat in that moment
    • The Neglectful parent is likely to ignore the child’s demands completely or provide a meal that is unsuitable in the first place.

    Benefits of the Authoritative Parenting Style

    There are a range of benefits to choosing the Authoritative parenting style for both your child. Research shows this style tends to produce:

    • Secure attachment – helping a child to feel secure, understood, and calm
    • Improved academic performance
    • Reduced anxiety and increased self confidence

    Steps to introducing an Authoritative parenting style

    which parenting style is best
    which parenting style is best

    There will be times when you notice yourself slipping back into your old parenting habits. However, with time and commitment you will start to see the benefits of this parenting style.

    It’s very important to begin by ensuring that you have worked on your own self-esteem and self confidence. Parenting styles are highly influenced by how you feel about yourself, particularly if you are suffering from low self-esteem. You can work on yourself at the same time as introducing a new parenting style. Make sure to make yourself a priority too.

    Authoritative Parenting steps:

    • Decide on your family’s clear boundaries and make sure you discuss these prior to enforcing rules around them
    • Ensure the rules are fair and everyone understands the consequences that may happen as a result of behaviour (particularly older children)
    • Be consistent – don’t bend the rules because you’re tired, overwhelmed or because you feel bad
    • Don’t dismiss your child’s voice – listen and take on board your child’s perspective and explanations of behaviour
    • Be flexible and adaptive (ie if your child has a good reason for bending a rule, take this into consideration when assessing the consequences of the behaviour)
    • Encourage independence in a manner that is healthy and safe for your child

    At the end of the day, you can decide which parenting style is best for you. With each parenting style you have the flexibility to intruduce rules and boundaries that suit you.

    The Authoritative parenting style highlights the significant benefits for your child. However, you can decide on the boundaries you set, the rules you follow and the manner in which you implement these rules. Be consistent, be warm and trust in your decisions to produce the best outcome for your child.

    which parenting style is best
    Lizzie O’Halloran, Author of Perfect Mum: How To Survive The Emotional Rollercoaster of Motherhood & Refresh Your Life
    calm parenting