Life can be stressful and, while being cheerful and positive may give you an edge, it does not make you invincible. From time to life sends everyone a curveball or two. It is, however, important that you find effective ways of dealing with stress because parental stress not only affects parents but it has an impact on children as well. Interestingly, stressed parents may affect their children's behavior, cognitive development, and general health, with asthma being listed as one of the leading problems that affect children whose parents undergo stress.

How Does Parental Stress Manifest Itself In Children? 


Any kind of trauma will have a negative impact on kids and the intensity of the stress that comes with domestic violence, depression or anxiety is something that must be addressed since children who are exposed to these conditions generally tend to have problems with speech, interacting and slow motor skills when compared to those who do not. So it is important that children who are in these situations be considered high risk and, when possible, be given professional help as they are especially vulnerable. To lower anxiety, many people try nutritional supplements which can alleviate stress.

What is unsettling is that studies are now indicating that parental stress affects children at the genetic level with consequences that can continue up to their teenage years. It was found that a distressed father was more likely to genetically impact his female children while a distressed mother affected both sexes.

Interestingly there was a correlation between the quality of marriages and behavioral issues. For example, children who were raised in happy homes tended to be more well adjusted than children who were exposed to instability and stressful environments. On the other hand, children of distressed parents are more prone to developing asthma and allergies


Children whose mothers were stressed out during pregnancy tended to be much more fussy during the first six months of life; if both parents were stressed during the pregnancy the child stands a greater risk of being autistic, schizophrenic and depressed later in life.

Pre-birth parental stress also affects eating habits. Children who are exposed to stressful environments at the prenatal stage tend to be overweight and carried a much greater risk of being chronically overweight.

Our Takeaway

Therefore if you are prone to stress and depression and you are already a parent or you are contemplating parenthood, you should find ways of reducing stress quotient. The effects of stress on both yourself and those around you are far reaching. If you are distressed because of relationship issues or grief professional therapy could be helpful. Good mental and emotional health will positively affect those around you, especially your kids, while the inverse could have a negative effect.

Researched and written by experts, brought to you by our team at Mommy Authority.

Born and raised in NYC, Chloe grew up running around the reservoir in Central Park and dreaming about attending NYU. She finally realized her dream and received her Masters in Biology. Currently married to her childhood sweetheart and mom to three spirited children, she works as a genetic counselor and is living the life she always wanted to.