Parents and Fatigue

Michael E. Bernard, Ph.D.
Professor, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Emeritus Professor, California State University, Long Beach
Founder, You Can Do It! Education

Been wondering why parenting drains your energy?

Well it seems you’re not alone. Researchers at the Parenting Research Centre in Melbourne, undertook an Australian community survey into parental fatigue and parenting practices during early childhood. A sample of 1276 Australian
parents, of at least one child aged 0-5 years, completed the survey.


  • ž Fatigue is one of the most common health problems reported by parents of infants and
    young children.
  • The study found that higher parental fatigue, was associated with things like low parenting self-confidence as well as inadequate social support, poorer diet, poorer sleep quality and ineffective coping styles including self-blame
    and behaviour disengagement.
  • Supporting parents to manage fatigue has the potential to increase parenting skills and confidence.



Fatigue makes it that much harder to be a good parent.

Don’t ignore fatigue. Take steps to manage tiredness and stress.

Things you can do for yourself:

  • Remind yourself you don’t have to be a perfect parent
  • Exercise, eat healthy and get plenty of rest
  • Enlist a support team to take the pressure off you
  • Create calm within the family – find quiet retreats in the day, share responsibilities
  • It’s okay to say “no” when too much is asked of you

Click here to download a PDF version of this article.

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