by Sari Harrar
Helicopter moms and Tiger moms, here’s news: Practicing “intensive parenting” may be hazardous to your mental health. In a new study from the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, researchers found that women who practiced this style of child-raising were more likely to feel stressed and depressed. They also felt they had less family support. The study was published in the July issue of the Journal of Child and Family Studies. You can read a summary here.
Researchers looked at 181 moms with kids younger than age 5. Using online questionnaires, they asked them how they felt about five intensive-parenting tenets. Among those on board with at least three beliefs, one in four had signs of depression. These moms were less satisfied with their lives and felt more stressed-out.
Intensive parents endorsed some or all of these beliefs:
- Moms are the most capable parent.
- Parents’ happiness mainly comes from their children.
- Parents should always provide their children with stimulating activities that aid in their development.
- Parenting is harder than working.
- A parent should always put her child’s needs ahead of her own.