Children who spend time living with both separated parents rather than with just one parent were found to have lower levels of stress, according to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. The results came from a survey given to 150,000 kids between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.
Loss of appetite, trouble sleeping and sadness were some of the stress signs shown less frequently in children who spent consistent time with both parents who were divorced, separated, or never married. As long as they are getting the emotional support they need, stress levels will be reduced, study leaders said.
Dr. John Beckerman, a pediatrician at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill. says it’s essential for parents to be on the same page when it comes to their children’s schedule.
“Consistency is key. Many times parents play tug-of-war and this is not beneficial to the children,” says Dr. Beckerman. “It is important for both parents to be together when it comes to decision-making.”
Having a routine is an important factor that helps keep stress levels down for children. Even if they are constantly traveling between two different homes, having a set schedule that both parents stick to is extremely beneficial, he adds.
About the Author
Laura Messerschmidt, health enews contributor, is a public affairs and marketing intern at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital. She is studying marketing and business analytics at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, where she will be a sophomore this fall. Laura also contributes to our 365 Barrington Health series focused on advice from area physicians, the latest medical news and trends toward better health in and around Barrington, Illinois.
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