More than half of parents say lockdown has had a negative impact on their child’s behaviour

In a survey of 2,319 parents, more than half of them believe that lockdown has had a negative impact on their child’s or children’s behaviour.

Of those surveyed, Childcare.co.uk found that 55% of parents believe that their child’s behaviour has deteriorated during lockdown, with 23% stating that the behaviour has gotten “significantly worse”. Only 14% believe that their child’s behaviour has actually improved over the last three months.

More than three-quarters of parents (77%) said their children have behaved violently with intent to harm them or their partner in the past, with a third of parents (33%) admitting that this is a frequent occurrence in their home. The survey also asked parents if they had previously heard of Child-to-Parent Abuse (CPA) with only a quarter of parents saying yes (26%).

When it comes to dealing with children being violent towards adults, responses were varied. Nearly half (48%) said they would talk to a friend or family member about it while a third said they would look for advice online (35%). A fifth (20%) say they do nothing when it happens and keep the experience to themselves.

The survey also asked parents about the ways they deal with bad behaviour. With Scotland becoming the first UK country to ban smacking and Wales set to follow in 2022, parents were also asked about their views on smacking their children as a punishment. While the majority believe smacking should be illegal in the UK (59%), 5% of parents said they’ve used smacking as punishment during lockdown, with 3% admitting smacking their child for the first time.

Childcare.co.uk is a platform which allows parents to search for and connect with babysitters, childminders, nannies, nurseries, private tutors and schools and also allows childcare providers to advertise their services. The site has more than 2 million users nationwide and is the largest online community for parents in the UK having launched in 2009.

Richard Conway, founder of Childcare.co.uk, said, “The last few months have been a very stressful time for parents and children. It’s completely understandable that tempers may snap a little easier than usual, however it has never been more important to talk about these things. If you are concerned about recent behavioural changes in your children, if they are acting a lot more aggressive than normal or you are unsure on how best to deal with these changes then please talk to someone about it. 

“A simple chat with a friend or family member can make a big difference and help put things into perspective for you. There are also online guides available that provide step by step information for dealing with these situations. However, if you believe it is more serious than this, please consider contacting social services or a local mental health service as the sooner a problem is confronted, the sooner it can be resolved.”

To view the full results and tips for dealing with tantrums and violent behaviour visit: https://www.childcare.co.uk/news/behaviour

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