Over the last 30 years, income-based differences in parenting have decreased. Low-income parents have been able to increase the amount of time they spend on enrichment activities, like reading, with their young children. Parental values across income groups have also converged. However, the public health and economic crises caused by the pandemic threatens to eliminate these parenting gains. Ongoing Brookings research following low-income families with young children throughout the pandemic reveals that parents are struggling. From February to May 2020 not only were there far more families financially distressed, but there was also a 60 percent increase in the share of parents reporting to lose their temper on a given day. The pandemic and its impacts have also taken a toll on parental mental health and the share of parents who had not read to their young child at all the previous week doubled from 4.7 percent last fall to 8.2 percent (spring 2020). #covid-19 #mentalhealth
Recent parenting gains may not withstand the pandemic
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