New research reveals Australian parents are worried about the impact of COVID-19 on their children’s education

As Australia emerges from lockdown and adjusts to the reality of social distancing at home, work and in public, a significant number are seeing that the changes of recent weeks have negatively impacted their physical and mental wellness, highlighting the importance of a diligent approach to self-care during the time of COVID-19 and beyond. 

To understand the impact that COVID-19 has had on Aussie parents, Panadol through the support of ‘Mindful Month’ with Smiling Mind has conducted new research looking at how they have been affected by COVID restrictions.

Key research stats include: 

  • 45% of parents with children aged 18 years and under say COVID-19 has impacted their parenting role – 26% yes for the better, 19% for the worse.
  • 72% of Mothers and 64% of Fathers are worried about the impact of COVID-19 on their child/children’s education in the future.
  • 84% of Mothers and 78% of Fathers openly discuss COVID-19 and the implication with their child/children.
  • Three quarters (75%) of parents with children under the age of 18 claim they feel more connected with their family.
  • Only 1 in 10 (13%) of Australians practice mindfulness, but 6 in 10 (62%) are open to trying

People’s mental wellbeing has been significantly affected by the introduction of social distancing, with 51% admitting they are more stressed and find it hard to switch off, while 48% claim they are more distracted now and struggle to get things done. Gen Z and Millennials in particular (78% and 70% respectively) are having trouble focusing on the work they need to do, while many are forgetting to eat meals or take sufficient breaks.

This stress has been further exacerbated by a range of other issues, including monetary concerns (60% of people confess that COVID-19 has caused financial difficulty), job security (49% of new home workers claim they feel less secure in their job than they did previously), technological shortcomings (58% of new home workers claim technology is slow and lags when they need it), and homeschooling (72% of mothers and 65% of fathers are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their children’s education).

More encouraging is seeing people’s relationships flourish, with 61% claiming they are more connected with their family and 33% claiming the same of their friends. Younger generations have experienced a more positive impact on relationships, while Boomers are least likely to feel a sense of change in routine or relationships. With nutrition being crucial to people’s wellbeing, it’s positive to see 60% of Australians eating more nutritious home-cooked meals every night, while 84% of parents with children under 18 are enjoying spending more time with their children.

In order to help Australians better cope with the unique pressures of this time and readjust as they emerge from life under lockdown, Panadol is partnering with a leading not-for-profit in the preventative mental health space, Smiling Mind. The partnership supports the introduction of a new initiative in June called Mindful Month with Smiling Mind, which is designed to encourage Aussies to establish a sustainable mindfulness practise over the course of 30 days.

The initiative will see users complete daily mindfulness exercises over 30 consecutive days within the leading Smiling Mind app, where they’ll be able to track their progress and results via pre- and post-surveys.

“The Panadol research shows that Australians are under significant pressure right now, we want to make it easier for them to access tools and resources to help them foster positive mental health practices now, and into the future,” said Dr Addie Wootten, Smiling Mind CEO.

“2020 has been a particularly difficult and stressful time for Australians, so it’s encouraging to see so many reconnecting with family despite the challenges,” said Nick Boyden, Area Marketing Director for GSK Consumer Healthcare ANZ.

April was the busiest month on record for Smiling Mind, with 181,213 new downloads bringing the total to more than 5 million.

New users are invited to join in, with registrations for ‘Mindful Month’ with Smiling Mind operating on a rolling basis beginning on June 1st, users having the option to start their 30 days from any time throughout the month. Visit the Smiling Mind website