Kids Are Experiencing Increased Stress Due to COVID-19, Survey Says

It found while 70 percent of parents stated increased stress, 56 percent of kids reported the same.
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Jun 2020
mom playing with her two sons at home
Photo: Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has stressed everyone out—from parents to their young kids.

A new study by Young Living, an essential oils company, surveyed over 1,000 American parents with kids aged 2 to 12 years old. According to the study, 70 percent of parents are more stressed since the pandemic started. Unsurprisingly, women are also reporting more daily stress (75 percent compared to 66 percent of men). However, the survey found that 56 percent of kids are also experiencing increased stress due to the pandemic—and they’re acting out. Many parents have noticed behavioral changes in their children, including:

  • They’re acting out more often: 33 percent
  • They’re overwhelmed with their school work: 32 percent
  • They’re fighting with their siblings: 30 percent
  • They’re having trouble sleeping or bad dreams: 24 percent
  • They’ve lost interest in their usual hobbies or activities: 21 percent

The survey also found that 31 percent of parents see their children becoming stressed when they notice their parents’ stress. The top thing parents have been trying to keep constant for their kids in self-quarantine? A daily bedtime routine, as 54 percent of parents stated they tried to keep it constant. Within bedtime routines, 59 percent said they emphasized brushing teeth most, while 43 percent said reading a story together mattered most to them. Other answers included giving a bath (38 percent) and having a specific blanket or stuffed animal (38 percent). Aside from bedtime routines, the survey looked at other ways parents were helping to manage their child’s stress, which included:

  • Playing games with them: 79 percent
  • Talking more frequently with them: 63 percent
  • Crafting, coloring, other creative activities: 61 percent
  • Cooking together: 55 percent
  • Spending time outside: 52 percent
  • Creating and sticking to a schedule or routine: 41 percent
  • Helping connect to friends via Zoom: 38 percent
  • Allowing them to just do what they want: 30 percent
  • Taking frequent baths: 21 percent
  • Encouraging them to write in a journal: 20 percent
  • Practicing mindfulness or meditation: 18 percent
  • Using natural remedies, like aromatherapy: 14 percent
  • Giving them medication: 14 percent
  • Letting them skip school: 12 percent
  • Finding ways to serve in the community: 11 percent

Despite all the challenges, many parents are also appreciative of the increased time they get to spend with their kids. In fact, 60 percent of parents say they’ve grown closer to their kids due to spending more time together. Plus, 92 percent of men and 81 percent of women say this time has changed their relationship with their kids.

To view the full findings of the survey, visit

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