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Parents are being pushed to the brink by the pandemic

Rates of parental burnout increased in the last two years, with mums and dads of primary school children particularly affected

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The first stage of parental burnout is overwhelming exhaustion. Picture posed

The first stage of parental burnout is overwhelming exhaustion. Picture posed

The first stage of parental burnout is overwhelming exhaustion. Picture posed

Over the last 18 months, I’ve written and talked a lot about the pressure that parents and families have been under with the pandemic and the associated lockdowns. Family life got turned on its head. For some families it was an incredibly positive flip, allowing parents and children feel like they had precious time together. In other families it was very negative, with financial and/or working-from-home pressures adding stress and distress to family interactions.

Research about parental burnout during the pandemic is starting to be published and it makes for sombre reading. Australian research, for example, showed that parents reported higher levels of mental distress during the pandemic, with parents of primary school age children reporting the highest distress. Portuguese researchers, as part of a huge international study, reported increased parental burnout among parents during their country’s second lockdown, compared to the first lockdown.


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