Working parents home-schooling are suffering high levels of mental stress

Many parents are multi-tasking and barely keeping their heads above water as they try to be the best they can while carrying full-time roles of parenting, teaching, and working in either full-time or part-time employment.

There are some frightening figures emerging from this COVID-19 time in the lives of families. The University of Melbourne has found that high levels of mental distress have doubled since the pandemic began.

For parents of primary school children this time is particularly stressful. Younger children being schooled at home clearly need more supervision and more support to complete tasks set for them by teachers. Researchers from the University of Melbourne have put the numbers as high as a quarter of the 1.5 million working parents with children between the ages of five and eleven who are the most vulnerable to mental distress, based on figures issued during the whole of Australia lock-down.

The high stress levels are caused by a number of issues emerging as the pandemic continues to impact families and communities, particularly so in Victoria.

These issues include:

  • Financial stress caused by the loss of jobs or reductions in hours of work
  • Conflict over who will supervise children at home during the day
  • Challenge of balancing work and family while working from home
  • Pressure on employers to support parents who are working from home and supervising remote learning.

The research has suggested that the continuation of the child-care subsidy would help parents, along with a government-subsidised leave scheme which could help parents take time away from work during the six-week lock down.

This article has been prepared by WR Law for information purposes only and is not legal advice. Please contact WR Law directly for legal advice regarding your specific circumstances.

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