Study finds 20 percent of mums and dads have been called “bad parents”

Posted in Relationships.

The folk behind everybody’s favourite supermarket treat – Kinder Chocolate – have just surveyed UK parents, and what they’ve found will sadly surprise few mums and dads.

Bad parenting?

The company surveyed 1,500 parents of primary school-aged children and found that modern-day parenting is steeped in a culture of negativity.

Most mums and dads were second-guessing themselves, as were complete strangers they encountered.

The study (which The Sun has just reported on) found that …

  • One in three parents had their parenting skills challenged by their own mum and/or dad.
  • One in five parents had been told they are a “bad parent” by someone in their life.
  • One in ten parents had been “parent shamed” by their own sibling.
  • One in twenty parents had their parenting criticised by a work colleague.

All this criticism has taken a toll on parents’ confidence, and it’s not hard to imagine why. 

“As many as 36 percent feel they are underperforming as a parent, and that the average British mum or dad feels like a bad parent on as many as seven occasions every week,” the report says.

A culture of criticism and guilt

This lack of support and critical environment has parents battling with their confidence, and is taking the joy out of parenting for many (who it must be said are their own worst critics.)

Apparently 51 percent said they regretted losing their temper with their kids and 41 percent felt guilty about their child’s screen time. More than one-third of parents felt guilty about using their phones when they were spending time with their kids. That’s a lot of guilt and regret … and there’s even more.

Close to half of parents (47 percent) felt guilty about not being able to take their kids on holiday more frequently, and almost a quarter felt anxious about their failure to encourage their child to read every day.

The study also found that 61 percent of parents wished they could spend more time with their children.

The kids are OK!

So why are so many parents feeling they are short-changing their kiddos? Maybe it’s social media pressure or maybe it’s partly caused by the barrage of parenting information and advice mums and dads are now exposed to.

Fact is most think guilt is par for the course, with 88 percent feeling it’s “just part of being a parent”.

Happy child with mum playing outdoors

Thankfully 94 percent of those surveyed felt that there is no such thing as a perfect parent, and a huge 97 percent of mums and dads think their kids will turn out OK.

Isn’t that interesting?

Many of us are feeling this day-to-day parenting guilt as a sort of default, even though we know we’re ultimately doing okay.

Even more reason to shake off the guilt, trust our own parenting skills … and ignore the critics!


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