Effects of Parent Stress on Child Developement
Lindsay Drury, SSW, APC
Safe and Healthy Families
Did you know that parent’s stress affects babies and children? According to zerotothree.org even young babies pick up on how their loved ones are feeling. When you are feeling calm it’s more likely that your baby will feel calm. When you are feeling stressed it’s more likely your baby will feel tense. It is important to understand your feelings and needs as a parent and make sure you are taking care of yourself.
Research has shown that there are a number of undesirable outcomes associated with parenting stress. These outcomes include: parent depression, marital conflict, poorer physical health, less effective parenting, and increased child behavioral problems (Neece, Green, and Baker 2012).
So what this means is the more stress parents feel the more children misbehave. The more children misbehave the more stress parents feel. This sounds like a vicious cycle and perhaps one of the most important reasons for parents to address and deal with their stress. Here are a few ideas on how to deal with stress:
- Talk. Talk to someone you can confined in or to other parents who can support you and who understand what you are going through. It is important that you know parenting is a difficult job and every parent struggles at sometime or with something.
- Ask for help. Ask other parents or professionals what to do in challenging situations.
- Take a break. Find someone who you feel comfortable leaving your child with and go on a walk or take some time for yourself.
Surprisingly children do not try to test our patience. Usually their crying or misbehavior is an attempt to get our attention or get a basic need met (depending on age). Below are some developmental tips and tricks to help identify and understand how to meet our children’s needs and effectively react to their behavior from birth to 1 year of age. Click on the table to enlarge it.
Birth to 3 Months:
4 to 6 Months:
This information was provided by zerotothree.org and is available on their website.