Parents job stress

Parents job stress impact on children

Even though many working parents try to leave their job tension at office and come home, still their behavior might express stress. Children will notice change in tone and behavior of parents and they understand something is not right.  Whether parents realize of not, parents job stress affects children.

There is no doubt that jobs have become more demanding and hectic. Working parents find it difficult to cope up with stress and carry their heavy head back to home every single day. When one or both parents carry the work home they also carry that bit of tension back to home.  When kids approach parents they will not have time to talk or spend any time with children. After coming home while preparing dinner or giving some attention to kids’ homework, still parents continue thinking about what has happened at work and what boss or coworker said. These lingering thought keeps parents silent and deaf for kids talk.

Why and what affect parents job stress has on children?

Most parents do not know how to manage job stress and home. Even they try, they might not be successful. If parents think that children want more parent time, it is not correct. Studies show that children want their parents to be less stressed from job. Kids eavesdrop on what parents talk and listen to understand what conversation parents might be having over phone or with others. Parents stress of any type for that matter, can has negative effect on kids mental and physical health. When one or both parents does not receive kids with a smile child understands that it is a difficult day at work. Kids can sense the frustration. Such expression of adults can only harm child’s health.

A study conducted by Pennsylvania state University reveals that parental work stress does not appear to exert direct effect on children’s psychological functioning. Parents work experiences indirectly influence children’s behavior through their sequential effect on parents” Studies also show that parental work stress has implications on quality of family interaction and child’s adolescents’ adjustments. When parents have too many stressors, they tend to lose their self-control and it is linked to better health outcomes of children.

Such stressors can negatively affect individuals and will spill over into other aspects of life. Such spill over which parents may experience is carrying the attitude and moods from job to home environment. This spillover of stressors can cause conflict at home and will influence child’s life. A study conducted on children behavior showed that when mother’s stress spilled onto family life,  boys showed conduct problems and girls showed increased immaturity. When father is happy and satisfied with job, it had positive impact on sons’ behavior.

There are many reasons parents find it difficult to deal with job stress at home. Not all parents can balance home and work life well.  The change in family structure, nuclear families and no support at home has impact on stress management. Career focused, pressure to earn more money and to keep a certain lifestyle parents struggle hard.  In a larger family where the uncles, aunts, grandparents all live together children will have an outlet and so also parents.  When other adults understand what is going on they might help to give take child’s attention away from stress.

How to de-stress and give attention to kids?

  • Note down all your day to day obligations and lack of spending time with family. You will realize what happens when families do not spend time together. See whether you can reduce your one or two obligations.
  • After job hours take time to exercise. It will help to alleviate stress symptoms. Meditate, do yoga – being mindfulness helps.
  • Get into a hobby that needs family involvement.
  • Write down what causes stress and how you respond to those everyday stress. While you write and read you might understand how your behavior with your children is.
  • After coming home try to unwind and no matter what spend a little time listening to child.
  • Daily dedicate sometime for family and kids. If you cannot come up with valid reason, help child understand in simple words life at job. Do not show your frustration on child. Kids feel motivated to reach a higher level when the parents are supportive with communication.
  • Talking to a coworker, boss or human resources at work could help too.
  • Social support helps you to connect with people who can help you. Open with others and discuss about your job stress. Friends and families will understand and step into help you. Do not hesitate to seek advice. You do not need to be a superhero to child. When you stop pretending and seek help, children will also start being there for each other.
  • Have a social life with friends. While talking to friends you might get ideas how to manage your stress. When children see adults blabbing, it makes them happy.

Parents need to realize that no one is a perfect parent. However, it is important to deal with stress and understand how to handle emotions, attitude, and behavior with children.  Stress is part of life and everyone experience stress at various levels. Carry stress but learn how to cope up with stress, how to manage stress and focus on what is essential in your life. Best stress relief is talking to children and bringing a smile on child’s face that brightens your day.


Image credit: Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash

Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash (Free for commercial use)

Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: January 18, 2019

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