Parenting life and laws in 2020: The impact of Covid-19
The coronavirus pandemic has caused many people to question the way things are done, such as working from home or travelling less. One of the things that the pandemic has brought to light is how parenting is done in 2020. A recent study, surveying over 1,000 UK parents, has discovered the impact that Covid-19 has had on the way parenting is viewed and what changes could be made. Here are some of the areas of interest from the study.
Shared parental leave
Parents were asked, if given the choice, leaving aside finances, would they use shared parental leave. Interestingly, while 62% of dads were keen on this, only 41% of mums were. Additionally, parents aged 18-24 were the most enthusiastic about shared leave – 69% said they would split their time equally, or more evenly. Interestingly, 54% of dads reported that they’ve experienced gender bias, versus 50% of mums.
When asked what parenting laws they’d most like to see improved in the UK, 45% of parents voted for childcare support. The average cost of a part-time nursery place is £6,800 a year, according to the Coram Family and Childcare survey for 2020. According to the Office for National Statistics, median household disposable income in the UK was £29,600 in 2019. Based on these figures, families without additional support would spend around 23% of their income on childcare. This calls to question whether it even makes sense for parents to return to work in the first place.
Although there has been a lot of progress towards gender equality in recent years, it is shown that women still bear the brunt of household chores. Parents from all types of families were asked who did the lion’s share of different tasks and women came up top for changing nappies, preparing food, feeding, reading, cleaning, playing with their child and taking them to school, as well as a number of others. The only task where men came out in majority was looking after household finances. This was only by a narrow amount.
Attitudes to technology
Across all categories of parents, 62% approved of technology in general, with several groups attitudes changing for the better due to lockdown. It has proven to be more popular with single parents, young parents and men. A mum is more likely to read to her children, with 78% claiming they do this primarily, whereas only 46% of dads will. Parents found educational influencers the best useful online resource.
Outlook on the world
Parents were asked how they feel about the world their child is growing up in, the results were spread fairly evenly with 36% saying optimistic, 34% pessimistic and 30% neither pessimistic nor optimistic. Single parents were seen to be the least optimistic, and also the most judged, with 48% saying they felt judged “always” or “often”. This is unsurprising, with 1.8 million single parents in the UK, 90% of which are women, they face some of the toughest challenges in bringing up children and running a household.
All in all
The results seem unsurprising in some ways, mum’s do most of the house work and single parents feel judged by society. However, it’s clear that change is wanted, particularly from dad’s who seem to want to be more involved in the upbringing of children. Through changes in legislation, changes in social attitudes and improvements in technology this will be possible. Read the full piece here to see all the information.
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