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Parental Burnout Can Lead to Mental Health Issues in Children

A lady stressed and burnout

When you hop on social media, you won't scroll too long before seeing some happy family. Moms playing with their kids, everyone looking so happy. And you wonder how they can keep it all together, unlike you.

If you're a parent, you know how demanding your role can be. Despite your day job, you still want to be there for your family. You probably vowed to always be there—­­to be the perfect parent, just like you see on social media.

I get it.

But data suggests that desire might not be good for you or your kids.

Researchers have found that the pressure to be a "perfect parent" can cause parental burnout and negatively impact the mental health of parents and their children.

Apparently, that pressure comes with expectations. You begin to judge yourself, whether you're meeting up, whether you're having a good relationship with your spouse, kids, and career. You also judge your kids as you have high expectations of them.

This pressure can lead to stress, depression, and anxiety among parents.

And we know that the mental health and behaviors of parents strongly affect their children's mental health.

Higher levels of burnout cause parents to lash out at their children, and this is associated with more mental health problems in the kids.

Talk about depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder, and OCD.

But amid all of that, there's good news.

The study found that the more time parents spend playing with their children and the lighter their extracurricular activities, the fewer mental health issues they experience.

So, the goal shouldn't be to be the perfect parent. It's a myth. What you see on social media isn't the full picture. They likely don't have it better than you. They just do a good job showing the best part.

Don't go too hard on yourself. It's hard enough already.

More on the research here.

Symptoms of parental burnout

The symptoms of parental burnout include:

How to deal with parental burnout

If you're already in a downward spiral of depression and anxiety due to parental burnout, we can help. Our licensed mental health providers can help you find personalized solutions to bring balance to your life.

Hope Mental Health provides safe, effective psychiatric care in Boise & Meridian, Idaho, SLC & the Wasatch Front, Utah. Also serving OR, AZ, NV, WA & FL.

Contact us today.

Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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