‘Parenting stress can negatively affect mother-child relationship’
Parenting stress is the result of parenting demands exceeding the coping resources that a parent has. Excessive parenting stress can block maternal sensitivity, thereby negatively impacting the relationship with the child.
Parenting stress does not just affect you but can also have an impact on your child or so claims a study.
According to researchers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, parenting stress can affect both the brains of the mother and the child.
Parenting stress is the result of parenting demands exceeding the coping resources that a parent has. Excessive parenting stress can block maternal sensitivity, thereby affecting the relationship with the child.
The study, published in Nature Scientific Reports, analysed the brain activity of 31 pairs of mother and child as they watched children’s animation clips together.
Mothers who reported higher levels of parenting stress had less synchrony in brain activity with their toddler compared to those who reported lower levels of the same.
Usually, when the parent and child show highly similar brain activity in the same areas of the brain, it suggests both are highly tuned into each other’s emotional condition.
“Our study shows that parenting stress may very well weaken mother-child communication early in the process of social interaction. Our observations likely stem from the stressed mother’s reduced ability to share her child’s perspective. This inability to appreciate the child’s viewpoint may reduce the quality of parental engagement and undermine the mother-child relationship in the long run,” senior author and assistant professor Gianluca Esposito.
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