Impact of COVID-19 on families varies widely, surveys show

With many parents reporting feeling stressed and overwhelmed, a new free guide to healthy relationships and managing conflict between parents is now available to all UK families as part of an evidence-based suite of tips and advice for coping with uncertain times, during COVID-19 and beyond.

Recent surveys around the world have revealed that the impact of COVID-19 on families varies, partly depending on the age(s) of their child(ren), and it seems a majority of parents are struggling to balance child care, schooling, and work.

Overall, the results of various surveys (from the US, UK, Europe, Canada and Australia) will probably cause few surprises for any parent who has experienced multiple disruptions to work, school, and life in general as a result of this year’s coronavirus crisis.

For example, Canadian parents said they had concerns about managing children’s behaviours, stress levels, anxiety and emotions (61%); having less patience, raising their voice, scolding or yelling (46%); staying connected with family or friends (43%), getting along with and supporting each other (37%) and feeling lonely in their own home (30%).

Other surveys have found that parents are also spending more time cleaning now that everyone’s at home, and many are unable to ask grandparents to help care for children, (either for travel or health reasons). Parents also say they’re worried about things like their children’s opportunities to socialise with friends, the amount of screen time, mental health and academic results.

While dads are doing more than they were (especially if there are younger children in the family), women still tend to take on the biggest load when it comes to childcare, educating at home, and housework.

See links to various surveys here, here, here, and here.

Free resources have been provided by the Triple P Positive Parenting Program® to help parents during this time. The programme offers ways for parents and carers to cope with stress and help their children deal with anxious feelings. There are Top Tips and full parenting guide to help parents cope with uncertain times and COVID-19 (separate guides for parents of younger children, parents of teenagers, and parents of children with a disability); and a free online magazine featuring articles and ideas, and interviews with parents and Triple P practitioners.