Stress Awareness Month – Six in ten parents feel stress and anxiousness from worrying about their child(ren)

  • While it’s only natural to feel worried about your children, research from MetLife UK highlights the significant strain that this causes parents. Six in ten (61%) parents say the worry they have for their child(ren) causes them to feel stressed and anxious.
  • And this is having a significant impact on their sleep, with almost two in five (39%) suffering sleepless nights.
  • Almost a third (32%) admit they’re mentally and physically exhausted, and one in five (20%) say their worries for their child(ren) are making them depressed.
  • Feeling stressed and anxious is causing arguments within the household, admitted 18% of parents.
  • The research, which explores what it is like to be a parent, the challenges, the milestones, and the financial protection they have to support them, found that one of the biggest worries they have is their child(ren)’s mental health (89%). This was closely followed by the fear that they won’t be able to get a doctor’s appointment or help should they need it (87%).
  • Despite the strain that worrying is having on parents, one in ten (9%) admit they don’t or wouldn’t turn to anyone for support.
  • MetLife’s research also found that worrying about children has a different effect on women compared to men.
    • Women are more likely to be directly impacted because of their worries, resulting in feeling stressed (64%), losing sleep (41%), and being mentally or physically exhausted (32%).
    • Men, however are more likely to let the worry of their children impact their relationships (15%), their work (20%), or relationships with family and friends (17%)
  • To support parents and help relieve some of the stresses they have, MetLife UK provides ChildShield – the first product of its kind that supports families should their child(ren) have an accident or become seriously ill. It provides financial protection should parents need it. This includes situations such as having to take time off work to care for their child(ren) – removing some of the stress and worry parents face when their child is ill or has an accident.

Rich Horner, Head of Individual Protection at MetLife UK, comments: “It’s only natural that as a parent we worry about our children – from health issues to potential accidents, to how they’re getting on at school and university. But worrying can have lasting effects on families, and stress can manifest in a number of different ways, so where we can, we must support parents to help relieve some of the stress they’re facing.

“The reality is that despite best efforts, accidents and illnesses do happen. And when children suffer something serious, we want parents to focus on being there in the moment your child needs you – not worrying about the financial impact.

“ChildShield aims to provide peace of mind, not just for the big moments, but the everyday ones too. To also offer greater support to help alleviate some of the stress that comes with being a parent, ChildShield includes a Wellbeing Support Centre Hub and a virtual GP service (GP24) to offer support 365 days a year, 24/7. Parents shouldn’t have to worry that they can’t get a GP appointment or prescription when it’s needed, so we wanted to address real concerns through a simple, affordable and practical product.”