Even as the spreading coronavirus aka Covid-19 is grabbing media headlines and setting off sirens around the world, a covert insidious parenting stress virus — even if it hasn’t attained pandemic proportions — is taking a heavy toll, especially of women, across India.
Breakdown of the joint family, explosion in the number of double income nuclear households and intensely competitive school/college admission processes, are imposing extraordinary demands on millennial parents. In the new age of social media scrutiny, parents especially women, are finding it increasingly difficult to juggle household chores, child rearing duties, children’s school and co-curricular activities schedules, the workplace, friends and family.
Currently with the class X and XII board exams having commenced across the country, the parental stress barometer is at its highest level. For most parents, their children’s success in exams is as much a vote on their parenting capabilities as on their children’s academic competence. In short, a time of great anxiety and angst.
In this month’s cover story, we beam a spotlight on parenting stress and burnout and its dangerous consequences for children. There’s a substantial body of research indicating that chronic parental stress adversely impacts children’s mental health leading to mood disorders, addiction, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). To beat stress, counselors and child development experts advise parents to focus on balancing home and office duties, co-opting older children and extended family into sharing household chores, refraining from making comparisons, and adopting healthy lifestyles including physical exercise and well-balanced diets.
There’s much more in this issue of ParentsWorld, which has quickly emerged as India’s #1 parenting magazine with a national readership of over 500,000. Check out the essay on the importance of promoting good gut health for overall wellness by popular Vellore-based pediatrician Dr. Gita Mathai; Early Childhood story on five plausible reasons why infants cry and Middle Years feature highlighting creative strategies to develop children’s spatial intelligence.