What is parental burnout, this real disorder for 21st-century parents? Psychologist Ana Maria Zamfir explains: "It occurs in those who want to give very, very much"

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What is parental burnout, this real disorder for 21st-century parents? Psychologist Ana Maria Zamfir explains: "It occurs in those who want to give very, very much" / PHOTO: freepik.com @kuprevich
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What is parental burnout, this real disorder for 21st-century parents? Psychologist Ana Maria Zamfir explains: "It occurs in those who want to give very, very much" / PHOTO: freepik.com @kuprevich

In a society where performance is often glorified, parents face continuous pressure to excel not only at work but also in family life. Psychologist Ana Maria Zamfir explained on the show "Părinți Prezenți", hosted by ParintisiPitici.ro's editor-in-chief Loredana Iriciuc, what parental burnout truly means and why it should be taken seriously.



"It is a disorder that has derived from professional burnout. It is not yet fully recognized as part of the burnout category because it pertains to family relationships. Some specialists claim that burnout refers directly to professional life and not to family or other types of personal relationships", said Ana Maria Zamfir on "Părinți Prezenți", a ParintisiPitici.ro production.

Nevertheless, psychologist Ana Maria Zamfir emphasizes that parental burnout is a frequently encountered reality in psychological practice. "It is something we very often encounter when working with parents and adolescents. When looking at the system, we increasingly see this state of parental exhaustion and continuous stress, which somehow exceeds the norm and disconnects them from their children's real needs or their own real needs, focusing solely on exceptional performance."

Psychologist Ana Maria Zamfir: "The parent feels obliged to always meet the child's every need"


Psychologist Ana Maria Zamfir explains which types of parents are more prone to this kind of emotional and physical exhaustion, revealing that those who are excessively dedicated to their parental role are the most vulnerable.

"Generally, it’s the parents who are very dedicated, the ones who idealize and want to offer a lot, a lot", the expert explains.

These parents have an extraordinary motivation to assume their parental role as the main focus in their lives. They want to be perfect in their children's eyes and provide them with the best, perhaps to compensate for their own unfulfilled needs from childhood.

This intense dedication often stems from a deep desire to give their children a better life than they had. Parents who experienced emotional or material deprivation in their childhood tend to be very sensitive to these aspects and strive to prevent their children from going through the same difficulties.

"Perhaps they came with some wounds or unfulfilled needs, which they strongly wish to fulfill through their children. They have an extraordinary motivation to assume this parental role as the main focus in their lives.

They take on this burden more than they should, in the sense that they somehow become the child's sole provider.

They must meet the needs, they must fulfill the wishes, and there’s a strong focus on joy and desires, which ultimately leads the parent to exhaustion.

The parent feels obliged to always meet the child's every need", added the psychologist.


Ana Maria Zamfir: "The parent isn’t on an 8-hour schedule, it’s non-stop!"


Psychologist Ana Maria Zamfir provides valuable insight into the differences and implications between professional burnout and parental burnout, emphasizing how profoundly the latter affects the parent-child relationship.

"Professional burnout is very important because it primarily affects the professional life from which a person earns their living", explains Ana Maria Zamfir.

In other words, when someone suffers from professional burnout, the effects are mainly felt at work, impacting the person's ability to fulfill their responsibilities and, consequently, their source of income. However, parental burnout has a much deeper and more personal impact.

"But when it comes to the parental side, it affects what may be the most important relationship in their life. The parent also feels a sense of duty. It’s a relationship of love with their child. It’s not just a part of their life that ensures their livelihood; it’s much more than that.

And so, of course, the impact is much greater. And yes, it’s not an 8-hour schedule, it’s non-stop!" added the expert.

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Autorul articolului: Loredana Iriciuc | Categorie: English





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