Hard times, harsher parents

Ever noticed yourself becoming harsh to your child at the slightest misbehaviour? Blame it on the bad economy so says a recent study conducted by New York University, Columbia University, Princeton University and Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine and published in he journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

One of the researchers is quoted saying “It's commonly thought that economic hardship within families leads to stress, which, in turn, leads to deterioration of parenting quality.

But these findings show that an economic downturn in the larger community can adversely affect parenting — regardless of the conditions individual families face."

In short, the study found out that, parents became harsher to their children as the economic climate worsened, mainly because of negative expectations of the future. Harsh behaviour includes spanking, swearing and yelling at a child.

This  is obviously a valuable piece of information for parents who find themselves unusually harsh and angry with their little ones. It’s not a child’s fault that things are going wrong I the economy or at workand it is up to the parents to take measures not to hurt their children because of effects of the economy or work environment.

Growing up, I remember hearing wives saying to irate husbands “Don’t take take out the work stress on us,”

The study, clearly shows that parents , when facing outside pressures need to control their thoughts, words, and actions when it comes to dealing with their children.

As parents it is our duty to protect our children from outside pressures by not chanelling it to them through unnecessary yelling, spanking and swearing.

Read more by Sipho Yanano

How has the economy affected your family finances? Share your comments below!

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.
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