A new study finds children are just as stressed out as their parents – and the pandemic may be to blame. A recent survey of 2,000 American parents reveals that since the pandemic began, 68 percent have seen their children face significant mental and emotional challenges.
Among some of the biggest pandemic stressors for children: heading back to in-person school (44%), adjusting to remote learning (38%), and grieving the loss of loved ones (28%).
Half the poll believes that missing life milestones, such as participating in graduation ceremonies and birthday parties, has negatively impacted their child’s mental health.
Parents have also faced mental health challenges during the pandemic — the leading challenges people are facing revolve around work (45%), school (41%), and making new friends (36%). Child stress also affects parents, too, since 77 percent feel stressed if their children are themselves.
As a result, 63 percent of parents have sought a therapist for themselves, their children, or the entire family, according to the research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of LifeStance, a provider of virtual and in-person outpatient mental health care. Parents cite their child’s lack of socialization (47%), showing signs of depression or anxiety (45%), or losing interest in their favorite activities (40%) as the top reasons they sought therapy for their child.
More than eight in 10 parents (84%) who have sought help say their family now openly talks about their therapy sessions and 37 percent believe that therapy is helping them feel closer to their family than ever before. Over two in five (44%) feel they have a good support network within their family and circle of friends to help them support their child’s mental health.
Overall, 69 percent of parents now feel more attuned to their child’s mental health during the pandemic. Seventy-one percent add they’re more knowledgeable about their child’s mental health state. Half of parents talk to their child about mental health at least a few times a week, if not daily. Another 72 percent believe their child feels comfortable coming to them with any issue.