COVID-17 having big impact on families

84% of children miss their friends
  • Deborah Condon

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a big impact on families, with many reporting an increase in tantrums and arguments among their children, a new survey by Barnardos has revealed.

Over 2,600 people took part in the survey and it found that 84% of children miss their friends.

However, it also found a number of behavioural issues in families with children under the age of 18. Some 68% of respondents said that their child misses school and among these:
-53% said that bedtimes have become more difficult than usual
-38% are seeing more outbursts and tantrums from their child
-33% feel that their child is arguing more with them
-31% said their children have more pent-up energy
-28% said that their child is fighting more with siblings.

Meanwhile, just 16% of children said they were concerned about contracting COVID-19, however 27% were concerned about a family member getting the virus.

The survey also found that 25% of parents were feeling sad or low during the pandemic, and these feelings were more common among lone parents or those co-parenting but living apart.

Among families with children under the age of 18, 14% said that the lack of childcare was causing stress in the home. This figure rose to 31% among those with children under the age of five.

Overall, 31% said that balancing parenting with working from home had added a lot of pressure to the family home.

"Perhaps unsurprisingly, this survey primarily highlighted the challenges faced by families during the COVID19 restrictions. Parents report that the majority of children miss their friends and school, and that children are having more difficulty than usual at bedtime, with many experiencing more tantrums and outbursts," commented Barnardos CEO, Suzanne Connolly.

However, she noted that half of families reported being satisfied or extremely satisfied with family life in general.

"Some families noted how the restrictions have allowed them to stop, take stock of what is important and to spend quality time together," Ms Connolly added.

For more information on Barnardos, click here.


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