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New research shows Canterbury parents under pressure

New research shows Canterbury parents under pressure
Media release for immediate use, 29 April 2016

Canterbury parents are among those most affected by the stress caused by the earthquakes and recovery efforts, All Right? has announced this week.

An All Right? phone survey of 800 people carried out in November 2015, shows that 71 percent of parents feel they are constantly too busy, compared with 51 percent of those who aren’t parents. Parents also feel more tired than those who aren’t parents (66 percent versus 57 percent).

All Right? mental health promotion strategist Ciaran Fox says being a parent can be tough, but living in post-quake Canterbury hasn’t made things any easier.

“Many parents are struggling to juggle the demands of looking after their kids, their own parents and themselves while at the same time grappling with ongoing stressors such as insurance claims, school changes and broken roads,” Ciaran says.

The research also found that 86 percent of parents feel they have a better sense of what is important now, compared to five years ago. This compares to 79 percent for those who aren’t parents.

“So often it’s the simple things that give you the most joy. A pleasing finding from our research is that parents are significantly more likely to have a better sense of what’s important to them now, compared to five years ago,” Ciaran says.

In addition to its phone survey, All Right? held parenting focus groups in August 2015. These indicated that many parents feel like they’re not living up to their own expectations or the expectations of others, and are downplaying, or don’t seem to be noticing, the great job they’re doing.

In response to these findings All Right? has launched a ‘Let’s talk about parenting’ campaign to remind parents there’s no such thing as the perfect parent.

“There are really high expectations placed upon us as parents and it’s easy to lose track of our successes and forget to enjoy the moment,” Ciaran says.

“While there’s no such thing as perfect parents or perfect children, there are plenty of perfect moments along the way, including snotty nosed cuddles, endless nonsensical jokes and music that’s not to your taste.”

All Right? received funding from the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal Trust for its parenting campaign.

For more information, including some practical wellbeing tips for children, go to www.allright.org.nz/parents

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