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Video: Parental Burnout: What Is Its Danger For Children And Parents
Parental burnout: what is its danger for children and parents
Parental burnout is the reason for thinking about leaving the family, parental abuse and lack of parental attention. This is evidenced by the data of the Belgian-British studies.
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Raising children is a responsible process that involves many stressful situations. When stress becomes chronic, it can lead to burnout - severe exhaustion that makes parents feel detached from their children and insecure about their own parenting abilities. This is the conclusion reached by the authors of a joint study of the Catholic University of Louvain and Stanford University. This type of burnout has serious consequences for both parents and children, exacerbating parental neglect, abuse, and thoughts of leaving the family. The results of the scientists' work are published in Clinical Psychological Science.
“In the current cultural context, there is a lot of pressure on parents. But being the perfect parent is not possible, and trying to be one can lead to exhaustion. Our research shows that anything that allows parents to recharge their batteries to avoid exhaustion is good for children,”said lead researcher Moïra Mikolajczak.
Scientists became interested in the topic of burnout during clinical meetings with "good parents" who, as a result of exhaustion, turned into their own opposite.
The study involved 2,625 Belgian and British parents. The following indicators were measured:
emotional exhaustion of parents, emotional distancing and feelings of inefficiency;
- the emergence of the idea of leaving the family;
- the degree of disregard for the physical, educational and emotional needs of their children;
- a tendency to verbal, physical, or psychological abuse.
Because many of the scholarly questions raised sensitive topics, the researchers also measured the tendency of participants to choose the most socially approved answers to probing questions.
A strong association was found between burnout and three variables: the idea of leaving the family, lack of parental attention, and parental abuse.
Parental burnout in all surveys was associated with subsequent parental neglect, violence, and thoughts of leaving the family. Researchers found a circular relationship between parental burnout and parental lack of attention, while abuse was a clear consequence of burnout. It is important to note that all of these patterns persisted even with the participants' propensity for socially desirable responses.
“We were slightly surprised by the irony of the results. If you want to do the right things too much, you may end up doing the wrong things. Too much pressure on parents leads to their exhaustion, which is fraught with disastrous consequences for parents and children,”said Moira Mikolajczak.
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