Two-thirds of parents believe lockdown has helped their relationship with their children, survey reveals

The majority of parents believe the national COVID-19 lockdown has brought them closer to their children, a new survey has revealed.

Carried out by Nannies Matter, the survey of more than 500 parents and individuals with childcare responsibilities has revealed that 82% of those polled feel they have been able to spend more quality time with their children as a result of the lockdown, while 63% believe their relationship with their children will now be changed for the better.

Additionally, 73% said the lockdown has created positive opportunities for their family to do more activities together, with respondents citing examples of family fun such as board games, gardening, long walks and even group readings of Shakespeare.

These benefits have been felt despite the unavoidable stress that the lockdown has caused, with 50% of those polled saying their experiences with their children during lockdown have been stressful to some degree, compared to only 27% who did not find it stressful.

The survey also revealed that on the whole, parents have stepped up to the challenge of homeschooling their children while schools have been closed – around 50% felt positive about the standard of education their children have received during lockdown, with only 23% feeling negative.

However, it would appear these experiences have not changed people’s existing reservations about the concept of homeschooling. Only 29% said they had a positive outlook on homeschooling before the lockdown started, and only 31% ended up feeling any more positive about it now they have experienced it, with many citing the difficulty of providing a rounded education at home with no social contact.

The report also indicated that most parents are keen for things to get back to normal, with 61% saying they would not be keen for homeschooling to continue if they were given the option.

Elin Swain, director at Nannies Matter, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has posed real challenges for families throughout the UK, so it’s great to hear that so many parents have been able to find a silver lining in the time they have been able to spend with their families.

“Ever since the lockdown began, those with childcare responsibilities have gone above and beyond to find ways to entertain their children at home, and it will be a really positive development if these experiences end up bringing families closer together in a lasting way.

“Likewise, parents have stepped up heroically to ensure their children are still receiving an education during lockdown. Nevertheless, the difficulties they’ve faced in doing so underline why it’s so important that we all do our bit to prevent the spread of the virus, even as the lockdown lifts, so that family life can get back to normal as soon as possible.”