Thousands of guilt-ridden parents working from home have admitted to sticking their kids in front of YouTube or the TV during holidays and then feeling awful about it.
Two out of three working mums and dads said they relied on screen time to occupy their children during extended school breaks – with ten and eleven-year-olds the most likely to be left to entertain themselves.
Juggling childcare with career during holidays was a headache for 51 per cent of parents, with six out of ten of those feeling guilty about not spending enough time with their children, the research for PGL Adventures found.
And for those parents who tried to combine it all, doing their work and spending time with their children, 45 per cent admitted to experiencing burn-out.
The study reveals that although increased working from home has alleviated childcare provision worries and costs for many, it has done little to ease parents’ guilt over both the quality of their parenting and their work.
Thousands of guilt-ridden parents working from home have admitted to sticking their kids in front of YouTube or the TV during holidays and then feeling awful about it (file photo)
While 62 per cent of parents rely on screen time to rescue them, 13 per cent also ‘bribe’ their children with new toys, while 18 per cent said they dish out periodical sweets to keep the children quiet while they try to work.
One in ten parents said other school mums and dads come to the rescue when they don’t have time for their own children.
But four out of ten did admit they are still lucky enough to be helped by grandparents, with the longer holidays even allowing non-local relatives to come and stay, or the children to stay at theirs.
Among primary and secondary school children, it’s 10 and 11-year-olds who are most likely to be given laptops, iPads or the TV remote to keep them busy.
For ten-year-olds, 71 per cent depended on screen entertainment, while among 11-year-olds the figure was a high as 75 per cent.
Two-fifths (41 per cent) of parents said they become stressed over the summer break period and a quarter will even develop feelings of anxiety – but 34 per cent also say there is also an impact on their ability to do their job.
Over half (53 per cent) say they can’t fully concentrate and two-fifths (40 per cent) have had to miss important meetings due to holiday childcare issues.
When researchers asked parents about their childcare difficulties during holidays, one said: ‘Not having the time and energy to be fully present for them.’
One parent said they struggle with work calls with ‘screaming kids who want to go out and do things, but can’t because I’m working’.
Another replied: ‘Having to tell work I can’t go on a site visit last minute because I have no childcare and then feeling scared I’m going to lose my job.’
It was a familiar tale of work being impacted, with another saying: ‘Not being able to arrange child pick up and having to leave work to get him.’
Two out of three working mums and dads said they relied on screen time to occupy their children during extended school breaks – with ten and eleven-year-olds the most likely to be left to entertain themselves (file photo)
One reply typical of the guilt described by many of the parents, said: ‘It’s the not being able to spend more time with them because I have work, so I can’t spend time with them so we don’t get to build a stronger relationship.’
Alison Sudbury, of PGL Adventures, said: ‘The school holidays can be hell for parents who are trying to juggle it all.
‘Trying to balance everything and keep everyone happy, including yourself, during this time can feel like a colossal task.’
For parents having no alternative child carer, and not wanting their children to be left entertaining themselves, she added that activity camps offer a potential solution.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk