Stressed out? Play With Your Kids!
Last updated: June 22, 2012 by Susan
Managing a single-parent household is pretty toxic. Holding down a job, making ends meet, shopping for groceries, chipping away at that degree and taking care of the kids have a way of grinding away at your sanity.
But one study from Kansas State University shows that simply reading and playing with your children can significantly lower your stress levels.1
Blake Berryhill, a researcher in the team that conducted the study, points out that the best way to cut down the stress of parenting is to spend more time with the kids. Berryhill also adds that this can be especially effective when the parent feels overwhelmed by the whole ordeal.
The study also notes that parents tend to spend less time with their children if the children were difficult during their younger years. The temperament of the child also plays a direct role with the mother’s stress levels, as it tends to go up the more a mother thought of her child as difficult.
The implications of this study are of great importance for single mothers considering the economic, social and child-rearing difficulties that come with single parenthood. The fact that 10 million single moms live with children younger than 18 and that 39% of all births just two years ago come from single, separated or divorced mothers makes this issue an even more urgent one to begin with.
So make sure that you spend a little time with your kids each day, whether you are chasing them around the house in a game of tag or simply snuggling them to bed as you read them a story. Not only will your own stress levels go down, but you establish the foundations of a mother-child relationship that will in turn help your child develop into a better, healthier and happier person.