According to a new study from Young Living, there are big differences between men and women when it comes to parents dealing with the new stress of COVID-19.
Twenty-five percent of men saying they’ve experienced less stress compared to 38 percent of women saying they’re experiencing a lot more. Coping mechanisms also vary drastically among the sexes, with 52 percent of women preferring to spend time outdoors compared to 32 percent of men, and 33 percent of men turning to drinking compared to 22 percent of women.
This stress isn’t only making a lasting impact on the adults, as 56 percent of parents say that stress for their children is growing every day since the beginning of the pandemic. The study has uncovered a clash between moms and dads when it comes to parenting styles, from bedtime routines to homeschooling, as everyone looks to bring some normalcy back to the home.
The disparity between men and women is also highlighted by revelations about how parents approach the bedtime routine: men are significantly more likely to resort to certain tactics over women, such as giving a treat/bribe (28% vs. 19%), spanking (14% vs. 3%), locking them in their room (10% vs. 3%) and going outside to not hear them crying (10% vs. 4%). The study also found that 19 percent of men report regularly giving their child a sleep aid compared to 12 percent of women.
The study also reveals that men are more likely (92%) to say this time has changed their relationship with their child(ren) than women (81%). Dads are also the ones tipping the scales when it comes to homeschooling, with 68 percent saying they’d consider it now compared to just 43 percent among moms.
“Uncovering the stark differences in how everyone is dealing with stress from the current crisis is telling on how our home environments are changing,” said Shante Schroeder, vice president of brand marketing at Young Living. “Knowing just how difficult the pandemic has been for parents—and the exact areas in which they’re most struggling—can help communities focus on areas of highest need. It can also help all of us be more empathetic with each other.”
The news isn’t all bad, however. In fact, 60 percent of parents say that they’ve grown closer with their child(ren) by spending more time together. Even better, 94 percent of parents have talked to their child(ren) about the pandemic. All signs point to better communication and stronger families.
Other key findings from the study include:
- 70% of parents say they’re more stressed every day since the pandemic started. The top three reasons parents are stressed include:
- 49% – helping their child with schoolwork
- 48% – maintaining a routine while the family is all at home
- 31% – keeping their kids occupied while parents are working from home
- The top way parents manage their own stress is by turning on the television (73%).
- Parents are learning how to set boundaries, but 25% of parents say they’ve been lenient about their children keeping up on schoolwork.
- 80% of parents report cancelling or delaying summer plans due to COVID-19; 40% of summer road trips and 39% of air travel are now canceled.
Young Living conducted this research using an online survey prepared by Method Research and distributed by Lucid among 1,002 parents of child(ren) ages 2–12 years old in the United States. The sample was balanced across parent gender and geographic area. Data was collected from April 29–April 30, 2020.
The full survey report can be found here.