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How does the Stress in Parents life affect Children ?

Stress is a demand on the body that is beyond the capacity of the body to deal with. And it has elements of uncertainty, lack of information, loss of control and loss of connection. The more stressed you are the more stressed your relationships will be. And this makes for a lot of emotional stress on your role as parents, which then gets translated to the child. It does not mean that the parents are not doing their best, not because the parents are not dedicated or devoted, but because they stress.

Parents who are stressed, their children are more likely to be stressed and anxious. They are likely to be more emotionally negative and disengaged. This is likely to mean that these children do not share a healthy attachment to their parents and vice versa.

So how can parents know if they have an healthy attachment to their children. What are the signs?

If we talk about a 2 year old child whom is upset they would normally come to their parent for being comforted. If a child stays away from the parent or shy’s away from their contact, or if you can't sooth them. And they remain upset, usually that means that there is a problem with attachment.

And if we talk of an 11 or 12 year old, they would rather hang out with their friends rather than with their parents or are constantly on the internet or on their phone. If the 11 year old is reluctant to come to and have meals with parents, is very resistant, then there may be an attachment problem.

So, what a parents do in that case that?

Well, first thing is that the parents have to look at the relationship and what has happened here. Why is this child so disconnected? What's going on in their life as a parent? What has or not happened that is not maintaining that attachment relationship with the child. In other words, we have to look first before we do anything

The good news is that children of any age, whether they are 2 years old or 18 or 19 years old do need their parents. So, parents need to start working on building confidence in the relationship with their child and it is the job of the parents to do this.

All parents have stress in their lives, and what I mean by that is that they may not be able to manage it so it does not affect their children and relationships.

Do not ignore if you as a parent are stressed and think that it will just get better, because the children are very good at picking up on the stress that parents experience and a recent study showed that parents who are stressed are less able to focus on their children. This means that they are unable to pick on any cues that the child may be experiencing as they are too distracted to do so.

Parents should be aware and understand the importance of attachment as this keeps and drives connection and relationships within the family.

If you are stressed then maybe may be make a stress inventory. What are the things that are causing you to stress and what are the steps you can take to avoid them or what can you do to manage them more positively. So become more aware of the stresses in your life so that when you are home with your children you are with them not just physically but also mentally.

Namita Bhatia

NLP Coach and Hypnotherapist


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