Parenting, the demand of being a parent, comes with its own set of stresses. At the top of the list is likely to be stresses experienced by single mothers often exacerbated by a lack of support structure and limited income. However, a recent study, conducted by a group of three Kansas State University researchers, has shown that interacting with children via the child’s activities, on a daily basis, can significantly reduce stress.

The Power of Playtime: Study finds that single mothers can reduce stress by playing, engaging with children

The researchers wanted to develop ways to help single mothers by better understanding the relationship between parental stress, parental engagement and child temperament. Parental engagement involves spending time with a child through daily activities, such as reading stories, playing games or putting their child to bed. Child temperament involves a mother’s perception of the child, such as viewing the child as someone who cries a lot, is fussy or gets upset easily.

The research highlights many significant observations about the Mother and child relationship. However, one of the more significant observations was the positive effect that parental engagement can have on the Mother. Single parent Moms especially would surely, be well advised to make the time to interact and engage with their child or children.

Higher levels of parental engagement reduce parental stress

* A higher level of parental engagement can reduce the level of parental stress. This means that the more time a mother spends engaging with her child in daily activities, the lower level of stress she may experience and the more energizing she may feel as a parent.

“Often times mothers are encouraged to engage with their children for the positive impact it has on the child,” Adams said. “The findings show there is long-term positive impact for the mother as well.”


As a single parent Mom and probably Dad it is essential that you allocate and devote a period of dedicated quality time to your child or children. The study shows, there is an additional and very real benefit as the daily activity has been shown to reduce stress levels of the parent as well as calming the child.


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