A nationwide study has found UK mums and dads will last an average of 17 days before they stop enjoying the company of their offspring and start longing for September to arrive.
This means tomorrow (8th August) is the day we have collectively had enough, with as many as one in five confessing that, once the initial few weeks of fun and frolics are over, the summer holidays are the single most stressful time of year.
In fact, the average parent will be driven to hide from their little ones in a locked bathroom or bedroom at least six times over the holidays, just to get some respite.
And the study found, 88% of modern mums and dads blame the stress on that fact they make more effort than their own parents did when they were young.
In fact, almost half said they were sent outside every day and told to come back at tea-time during the break.
But 36% of mums and dads today say they feel guilty if they don’t have an activity planned every day.
This means parents could be making a rod for their own backs, with the research showing that over the six-to-eight week break, the average parent will have to deal with 13 sibling fights, six public tantrums, 15 early morning wake-ups, two cancelled childcare emergencies and five long car journeys.
Grandparents will be called into help six times, there will be five fights over sun cream and 10 times when we’ll be so worn out we cave in and let them have screen time.
The strain of juggling childcare and work has led to 15% of parents genuinely considering quitting their job for an easier break, while a whopping nine in ten wish employers were more sympathetic to the plight of working parents during the summer break.
And there will be at least six rows between parents and seven times that parents who are looking after their kids wish they were back at work instead.
The study, by Drayton Manor Park, found that keeping the kids entertained (48%), youngsters saying they are bored the entire time (40%) and trying to find activities that the entire family want to do (34%) are some of the things that make summer holidays so tough.
William Bryan, MD at Drayton Manor Park who commissioned the survey of 2,000 British parents, said: “For many, the summer holidays are the best time of the year, but we know all too well how difficult it can be to find things to keep the family entertained throughout the six-week break.
“Whether it’s finding the perfect activity for the whole family to enjoy, or trying to stop the kids from moaning about being bored – it seems the holidays can be a real challenge for parents trying to keep everyone happy, particularly after the little ones break up from school.
Other challenges faced by mums and dads are sibling scraps (32%), constant bickering (30%) and attempting to limit screen time (28%). And 17% of parents hate being shouted at by their kids when they do manage to pry them away from screens.
And, with 16% of parents reporting that one of the biggest challenges is getting out of the house every morning, they’ll be seven days when nobody in the family actually manages to get dressed and everyone stays in their pyjamas.
But despite the stresses and strains, 90% of British parents admit they look forward to the summer holidays, and three quarters say they are disappointed, deep down, when the kids go back to school.
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