Study Claims That Having Three Kids Can Be Most Stressful For Parents
Published in Oct 2018 / Updated in Aug 2021
Generally, having and taking care of children is stressful. Yes, children are a blessing, and we love them, but sometimes taking care of them can be quite a challenge. Here is what is shocking about having children: Parents having three kids are likely to be more stressed compared to their counterparts that have more than three kids.
Before you start doubting, here is why; A survey conducted by The Today Show’s website revealed that a parent having three children is likely to be way more stressed than that having either one or two kids. This is not surprising at all. However, what is surprising is that the results also revealed that a parent having three kids is likely to undergo more stress than having more than three. Imagine a parent with three kids being more stressed than having five or six kids.
In fact, it was revealed that those parents who have four kids were least stressed compared to all polled parents. This survey was conducted on approximately 7,000 parents.
This is the explanation as to why this is the case— Psychologists explain that by the time a parent has child number four or five, they tend not to focus too much on being perfect as a parent anymore. Having child number four is the exact time when a particular parent comes to the realization that they neither have the energy nor the time to try to be perfect for every one of their children. It is the point where they decide that it is never that serious and decide to be more relaxed.
Where does this stress originate from? Most parents get stressed out due to the reason that they have limited time to dedicate to their children’s needs. 60 percent of the total number of parents polled complained about this particular issue and stated that it was a major source of stress for them. This gets worse for parents having three kids since they have to divide their time among three children. Striving for perfectionism and trying to divide time and attention among three children equally is very stressful, but these parents do not want to accept the fact that it is difficult and sometimes even not possible.
This stress leads to more stress when they realize that they are becoming stressed. 72 percent of the total number of parents that took part in the poll stated that their stress was a factor that made them even more stressed. According to them, if they were good parents, then they would not be so worried. The fact that they undergo stress is proof enough that they are not doing something right, causing further stress. It’s like a vicious cycle.
Other parents that were also found to be undergoing stress were those of girls compared to those of boys. This is not because girls are more difficult. It is due to the reason that some societal factors make it challenging to raise girls as compared to boys. Girls feel more pressure regarding their bodies, the way they dress, and generally how they carry themselves around as compared to boys who do not have pressure to perform in any of the mentioned areas. Society expects boys and girls to behave differently, putting more pressure on the latter and their parents as well.