Survey: Families struggle to find time for play

New parenting guidelines have advised parents of a “five-a-day” approach to bringing up their children, but research has found that that 45 per cent of mums and dads have less than five hours to play and bond with their children in an average week.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 18th August 2011, 5:03 am

The research also highlighted that only 31 per cent of UK parents take part in educational play and life-skill development such as cooking, sewing or DIY.

This is despite 93 per cent of parents deeming it important to pass life skills down to the next generation and 90 per cent admitting it could cause problems later on in their child’s adult life.

Children are also concerned, with 50 per cent of kids aged between seven and sixteen stating they would relish more time with their parents to help them learn new things.

More than six in ten were eager to develop prowess in the kitchen and 52 per cent also wanted to learn more about DIY and how to fix things in the home without calling for a builder.

Bosch Power Tools, which commissioned the survey, has responded by launching a campaign to encourage families to “build and bond” by building a tree house together in the back garden this summer.

Sue Palmer, specialist in child development and author of Toxic Childhood, comments “When parents take the time to involve their children in ‘everyday’ activities like cooking, DIY and mending clothes, they’re not just handing on important lifeskills that will stand the kids in good stead in the future, they’re also showing them value and love.

“This sort of ‘family time’ is vital to a child’s feelings of self-worth. It used to happen naturally in most families, but modern lifestyles make it more difficult.”

Bosch DIY expert Chris Tidy comments, “It’s really important for parents to take the time to teach kids these practical skills because otherwise, it’s really going to cost them in the future.

“Once they leave home they could incur huge expenses when they are unable to rely on their parents.

“These skills will prove extremely cost effective as young adults in various elements of their life, such as simple DIY tasks, cooking for themselves, decorating their house and customising their clothes.”

Of the tiny seven per cent of UK parents who didn’t want to pass on skills, 64 per cent claimed they didn’t have time and worryingly.

For more information about the Build and Bond campaign, visit