Parents feel stressed six times a day because of their children, study claims

Children become most demanding aged five, according to research

Dr Jay Watts: Why it’s impossible in our hostile society for lifestyle tips to cure the UK’s out of control stress

Getting kids to bed, doing the weekly food shop and meal times have been named on a list of parents' biggest stress triggers.

A study of 2,000 mums and dads found the daily worries which put parents on edge also included bath time, getting homework finished and keeping screen time to a minimum.

Getting home from work in time to wish them goodnight, knowing the right foods to feed children and successfully getting out of the door on time also featured on the list.

Just paying for petrol was a nightmare for a third of parents of young children.

It also emerged the average parent found themselves feeling stressed six times a day and believed the age of five is when children peak and become their most demanding.

The research was conducted by BPme, a new app which allows customers to pay for their fuel without leaving their car, helping reduce the stresses and strains of time-pressed parents.

Daniel Slater, Digital Execution Manager for BP said: “As researchers have found, British parents have a hard job of getting through the day without losing their cool.

“With children in tow, the simplest of tasks can seem monumental at times – even the simple job of filling up the car with fuel takes twice as long when you have to negotiate car seats and straps to get the entire family out of the vehicle to pay.”

The research also revealed the naughty antics kids are getting up to when parents turn their back briefly, including sneaking sweets, putting on make-up and putting pants on their head.

As well as typical drawing on the walls, kids also drew on the carpet, their friends and even the pet dog.

A quarter of children had eaten chocolate and ended up with more of it on their face than in their mouth, with other kids covering themselves in paint when their parents were preoccupied.

Other children climbed into unusual spaces including the dog’s bed, the dishwasher or a laundry basket.

The study also found children were the cause of most havoc and stress while in the home (46 per cent) but continued their chaotic ways at the shops (13 per cent) and when out in restaurants (10 per cent).

82 per cent of parents said their offspring were a bit naughty when they were not looking, but two-thirds had moments where they found their kids’ antics more funny than stressful.

It also emerged three-quarters spent longer, now they have children, doing simple tasks than before they became parents.

Just getting out the front door took an additional 12 minutes every time, with kids adding 14 minutes onto the food shop and 11 extra minutes just to get dressed in the morning.

Having breakfast together added a further 12 minutes with the hustle and bustle of children, with walking to the local shop taking a further 11 minutes.

Parents reckoned they spend nearly 40 minutes a day feeling anxious as a result of their children running amok and spend eight days of the month feeling like they needed a little break or some ‘me-time’.

SWNS

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