Putting on a ‘Happy Face’ for Kids Takes Emotional Toll on Parents

worried-parent

Parents who hide their true emotions from their children, putting on an insincere “happy face,” tend to feel bad about it afterward, a new study finds.

Researchers asked parents to remember times when they didn’t feel great, but put on a “happy face” anyway when talking with their kids. Overall, parents felt that putting on a fake happy face decreased their sense of well-being and the quality of the bond they had with their kids, the researchers found.

It turns out that parents may experience “more pain than pleasure … when parents express more positive emotions than they genuinely feel and mask the negative emotions that they do feel when caring for their children,” the researchers said in the study.

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