Keeping children motivated and entertained is proving a challenge whilst the Government restrictions remain in place. According to new research by Churchill1, on average parents hear their children claiming they are bored just two and three-quarter hours after waking. Less than half of
parents (44 per cent) can make it past lunchtime before they hear their children complaining of boredom and two million (11 per cent) children are even known to moan to their parents of boredom within an hour of getting out of bed.
A common unpleasant feeling for parents is guilt that they are not spending enough time with their children during lockdown (27 per cent). Those with young children, under four are particularly affected, as their children do not understand that they need to work and want them to be playing with
them all the time (53 per cent), plus they obviously also need constant supervision (43 per cent).
Despite the extensive efforts of many, three quarters (75 per cent) of parents admit their children are spending less time studying in lockdown than they would at school, working 2.5 hours less a day. Many parents cannot wait for schools to reopen from June as they are finding home schooling
difficult. More than a third (39 per cent) of parents say they feel inadequate to teach their child during lockdown, while 19 per cent are worried that their teaching skills will have a negative long-term effect on their child’s learning.
One in six parents working from home say some clients and colleagues do not understand their responsibilities as a parent, which can make work a struggle. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of parents working from home are struggling to attend online meeting and conference calls, with 18 per
cent constantly apologising to clients and colleagues for the noise children are making in the background.
Trying to fit in a full day working at home while looking after children and home schooling means many parents have had to adopt new working practices. One in five parents still working have either changed their working hours to start earlier (20 per cent) or work in the evenings (20 per cent) to
accommodate their child’s needs during the day.
Recognising the pressure parents are under Churchill has partnered with author and meditation teacher Sue Pickford, alongside author, podcast host and mum of three Giovanna Fletcher, to launch a new series of audio books aimed at teaching mindfulness techniques to children aged 4-7.
The five stories, featuring different mindfulness techniques, are specially designed to inspire and relax young minds.
The series, “Little Chapters of Chill”, contains five books taking the listener on a fun, calming adventure with Churchie the dog, which are perfect for bedtimes or moments of down time. Each story is just 12 minutes long, ideal for a young child’s attention span. The books have been written
by Sue Pickford, are read by Giovanna Fletcher and have been designed to keep children entertained while also supporting better mental health practices through mindfulness exercises.
Giovanna Fletcher, author and podcast host commented:
“With three boys under six, I know how everyday can become a juggling act of epic proportions. Home schooling whilst trying to get
work done is not easy. But it’s also important to take a moment to breathe and enjoy being at home together. That’s where mindfulness can help, and that’s why I’m super excited to be narrating Churchill’s new audiobooks, Little Chapters of Chill. Each story includes a mindfulness exercise to
help kids – and hopefully parents! – get some more chill time.”
Sue Pickford, author, said:
“Mindfulness and meditation are just as important for children as they are for adults, especially now as they have been through a huge amount of disruption to their routines. Taking a few minutes out of a busy day to practice mindfulness, such as breathing
techniques and visualisation, can help to slow down the pace of life and be calming. The audio books I’ve written will really help parents, as they will help children relax and focus on positive thinking.”
It’s a huge challenge working from home while trying to keep children focussed on schoolwork and entertained, so it is no surprise nearly 12 million parents (65 per cent) get less than an hour to themselves each day. It is even worse for the 2.3 million parents who say they don’t get any time to
themselves at all. Understandably, parents are increasingly looking for ways to grab a few minutes of peace and
solitude. Some of the most popular strategies are allowing children to watch more TV (31 per cent) or parents even locking themselves away in the bathroom (26 per cent). More than a fifth or parents have brought forward their child’s bedtime to create some time for themselves in the evening (17 per cent).
Jane Morgan, Marketing Manager, Churchill Home Insurance, said:
“Parents have been finding lockdown really difficult as they are under pressure to maintain their level of work while also educating and entertaining their children. At Churchill, we want to do whatever we can to help parents through this time. That’s why we decided to bring the launch of the audiobooks forward. Originally planned for the summer, to help kids chill in the back of cars during long drives, we felt the audiobooks could provide a little bit of peace and calm to both children and parents right now.”
Listen now to the free audiobooks by searching ‘Little Chapters of Chill’ on Spotify, Apple Podcastsand Google Podcasts.