School holidays are supposed to be a fun and relaxing time for families, however new research has found that it’s the opposite, with many parents admitting to feeling stressed, anxious and exhausted.
The research, conducted by self-storage experts, Space Station, has found that a third (33%) of UK parents admit to feeling stressed when deciding what activities to do with their children during school holidays, while more than two in five (23%) feel anxious and a quarter (24%) admit to feeling exhausted.
When asked what causes the most stress during the school holidays, more than half of parents (52%) point to the cost of taking children out to do recreational activities. Thinking of different ways to keep the children occupied comes in as the second most stressful factor for parents. A staggering 47% of parents worry about thinking of things to do with the children, and 29% worry that their children might be bored.
Spending time on technology is also a big worry for parents, with a quarter (24%) admitting that they are concerned that their children spend too much time on a screen during the school holidays. To combat screen time, more than a quarter of parents (28%) feel that spending time outside during the school holidays is beneficial because their children spend time away from technology.
Arranging childcare is something that a quarter (25%) of UK parents worry about, and with full time childcare costing up to £242.35* PER WEEK, it’s easy to see why. With more than half of parents admitting to finding paying for activities during the school holidays stressful, data suggests just short of six out of 10 parents (58%), spend up to £300 per school holiday**, a bill that can quickly rocket up to £1,800 a YEAR.
The top causes of stress for parents during the school holidays are:
1. Cost of activities – 51.7%
2. Thinking of things for them to do – 46.5%
3. Worrying that they are bored – 29%
4. Arranging childcare – 24.5%
5. Concerns that they are spending too much time on a screen – 24%
6. Finding time to get work/house tasks done – 22.4%
7. Feeling like what you’re doing isn’t good enough for them – 20.3%
8. Worrying that they will be naughty when you are out – 18.4%
9. Driving them to various locations – 13.6%
10. Feeling like I’m a bad parent – 9.5%
To help combat the stresses parents can face during the school holidays, Space Station have produced a cost-effective activity, with their guide on how to create the ultimate cardboard fort. The activity won’t only save parents money either, it also provides an opportunity for children to spend time problem solving using their creative skills and getting used to working effectively in a team – away from screens and technology.
Space Station’s Vlatka Lake said: “School summer holidays are meant to be a time for families to have fun and relax together. However, due to the rising costs of out of school activities such as the cinema, theme parks and bowling alleys, parents are becoming more stressed and anxious.
“We wanted to explore an activity that the whole family can enjoy. It involves teamwork, problem solving and creativity. You just need a few old boxes and adhesive to create the cardboard fort and it’s destined to keep children occupied for weeks on end! It’s very much a ‘back to basics’ activity and will encourage children to spend some much-needed time away from technology and screens.”
To find out how to make the ultimate cardboard fort, please visit: https://www.space-station.co.uk/blog/how-to-build-the-ultimate-cardboard-fort