Taking time off during the school holidays
We asked 2,000 parents nationwide how they felt about the school holidays. A quarter of parents say they dread taking time off work to look after their children during the school holidays. We also found that parents are feeling increasingly more guilty over the holidays.
Over a third (37%) worry about coming up with fun and exciting things to do and a further third worry about their child becoming bored.
The study also revealed that while 72% of children are spending the school holidays at home, with three quarters of adults taking time off to look after them, 60% of parents worry their child is lonely as they don’t spend enough time making new friends.
What’s more, children seem to agree with their parents, with three quarters saying they get bored. A third also admitted that the worst thing about the school holidays is not seeing their friends.
However, while half of parents say they do not send their children to a holiday camp as they want to spend quality time together, almost half are ready for their children to go back to school after the first two weeks of the summer break – so it may be worth them looking at camp options.
We talked to psychologist, Dr Alice Jones Bartoli, who said: “It’s tricky to manage competing demands, especially in the holidays, and it’s hard work for parents to juggle multiple roles. Parents can often feel a multitude of guilt – guilt at taking time off work as well as guilt not taking time off to be with their children.
“On top of all this they can also feel immense pressure to provide their children with fun, exciting and educational experiences during their free time.
“However, by sending their kids to camp, it will enable them to spend time with friends, learn new skills and take part in fun and exciting activities.
“By then keeping a day or two to spend with the children it means this time can be spent wisely, it will seem more of a treat and it is unlikely that children will become bored or start complaining, making it a more enjoyable experience for both parents and children.”
The survey also found that:
- 65% of children spend more time than usual playing video games during the school holidays
- One in 10 children spend less time outdoors during the holidays than when they are at school
- Two thirds of four-year-olds say they would struggle to go a whole day without using their phone
- 56% of children said they would struggle not to use their phone for a day