We are hardwired to care for our children. We want them to be healthy and to thrive. As parents, we worry about their relationships, financial well-being and physical health. And there’s no way to stop this worry as it pours out of a primal part of our brains.
Amber J. Seidel of Pennsylvania State University recently conducted a study concerning the parents of adult children. She found that parents still lose sleep worrying about their children even into adulthood. The study tracked 186 families to make this startling discovery. But the researcher, Amber J. Seidel, isn’t shocked at all.
She says that many share this value of caring for older children. She continues to say that society likes to focus on families with younger children, but she’s interested in how we socialize as a family into adulthood. It’s all detailed in the study that was published in The Gerontologist.
The study used a scale of one through eight to determine the rate of support a parent believes they offer their adult children. One was for daily interaction and support while eight represents support offered once per year. Support was defined broadly to include financial assistance, emotional support, and daily chat.
A scale of one through five was used for stress. Five represents the most stress while one was for no stress at all. Each parent was then measured for hours of sleep. Moms slept for 6.66 hours per night while dads got just a little more with 6.69 hours. The survey and measurements were then compared.
The fathers reported a loss of sleep when they put in the effort to support their adult child.The dads’ sleep was not affected when the mom physically performed the support. Meanwhile, the mothers lost sleep when either the dad or the mom performed the supporting tasks. These results reveal some intriguing insights into the minds of parents.
It seems like the act of supporting the adult children physically exhausted the fathers. The men were physically drained when they had to support the adult children financially or emotionally. They even found chatting on a regular basis about mundane daily activities to be exhausting.
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