Life

Pressures and Interventions on Parents

Parenting is a role that is often perceived as having both great rewards and significant demands. The role of a parent requires that an individual have the necessary resources to ensure the long-term well-being of their children. This includes not only competence in child-rearing practices, but also the ability to respond to the child(s) physical and behavioral cues and emotional needs. Parenting is best seen as a multidimensional concept that combines parenting behaviors and one’s self-perception as a parent. Positive parenting practices such as warmth, acceptance, belonging, and sensitivity are associated with healthy development and outcomes, even in the face of adverse life situations. According to Yamaoka and Bard, positive parenting practices can provide a buffer against the negative effects of adversity, especially in early development, and the absence of such parenting can be seen as a nuisance in itself. Success in the parenting role creates an internalized sense of safety and security for the child, and this is a critical component in the development of self-regulation responses and lifelong adjustment.

A parent’s expectation of effectively managing the daily demands of raising a child can produce a moderate stress response, even in situations that are considered relatively normative. Abidin’s parenting stress model identifies the link between stress and parenting practices and suggests that increased parental stress leads to less optimal parenting behaviors. Moreover, this model highlights the link between parental evaluation of their experience in the parenting role and the emergence of parenting stress and the emergence of parenting stress; it serves as a motivating force for parents who have the resources to take advantage of. The purpose of this section is to explore the factors that influence the relationship between negative experiences and parenting behaviors on parent-child relationships and outcomes for children.

Many parents find satisfaction and positive respect for this role while effectively managing this stress. However, parental stress can be exacerbated when parenting occurs in the face of negative life situations. Parents’ stress levels and behaviors are influenced by the level of self-efficacy a parent experiences in their role and can be mediated by social supports that emerge in the context. Parental self-efficacy, that is, confidence that they can effectively manage the parental role and assist their children in managing emerging problems, was associated with adaptive family environments and positive outcomes for children. Parental expectations and perceptions of stigma can increase and deplete the stress experienced by negative situations. In a society that places great emphasis on the quality of parenting practices, the pressure placed on parents to ensure the best outcomes for their children is overwhelming, and the way these practices and outcomes are evaluated can be harsh.

While difficulty is a routine part of the human experience, its impact on individual and family functioning is quite diverse. There is a lot of research devoted to understanding why some individuals adapt more effectively than others. Exploring parenting in adverse situations, parental self-efficacy, resilience, and parenting in context will allow the development of supports that can improve outcomes and reduce vulnerabilities for families. Understanding how parents experience stress in the face of adversity provides insight into the resources parents can access for parenting practices and behaviors and the impact of adverse events on parents themselves. When planning interventions and services, this information can assist with recommendations that add value and additional resources to reduce individual stress responses and negative family dynamics. It is important to understand the factors that influence the ability to maintain healthy trajectories in stressful life situations, as if the experience of difficulty cannot be eliminated, but the sensitivity to support and parents’ understanding of their experience can be increased.

Social Support and Possible Interventions in Parenting

It has been found that social support, which emerges in direct relationship with the stressor, increases the perception of positive adjustment and reduces stress. While social support was associated with better outcomes in the face of adverse life situations, support tailored to the source of the stress, for example parenting stress, was found to have the greatest impact on stress reduction and improved outcomes for both parents and children. Crnic and Booth found that when support services highlight challenges in the parenting role, it is helpful in managing their children’s behavior. More family support, friendships, and genuine support from a spouse help buffer the negative impact of parenting role challenges. Perhaps of greatest concern is the abundance of literature promoting social support and the buffering effect in the face of challenges. Yet studies investigating parents’ experiences with difficulties regularly report a lack of support and feeling isolated.

Social support is critical to parental success in the face of adversity and also increases children’s ability to manage negative situations. In fact, the lack of social support creates a nuisance for children and parents. Social support has also been shown to act as a buffer against the long-term effects of parenting stress. Also, a parent who has access to social support, especially regarding parental stress, can in turn provide similar support to their child. Social support can help build resilience and act as a buffer against the negative effects of difficulty. Social support increases an individual’s ability to cope with stressful life events and improves available resources that help maintain healthy developmental trajectories.

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