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The Silver Linings of Lockdown from UK Parents

JOHNSON’S® reveals the valuable lessons UK parents have learned during lockdown.

• Across the board, parents have experienced more with their children as a result of lockdown. 88% of dads and 73% of mums agreed.
• Nearly three quarters (74%) of parents feel they have a stronger relationship with their child as a result of lockdown
• Two thirds (67%) of parents have experienced at least one of their child’s milestone moments that they would have otherwise missed, from first words, to smiles, crawls, laughs, meals and bike rides
• 64% of parents feel more confident in their parenting ability since lockdown began

Research released today by JOHNSON’S® in celebration of Father’s Day surveyed 1505 parents to look at the positive impact that the past few months have had on parenting in the UK and the key learnings that parents will be taking back into the world with them.

The busy lives of UK parents mean family mealtimes are often tricky to co-ordinate. However, dads, in particular, have been able to experience more of the day to day routine and important moments with their little ones as a consequence of lockdown. Mealtimes have become a special time for the family to come together, with 65% enjoying lunchtimes, 50% taking the time for breakfasts, and 42% for getting together for family evening meals. These mealtimes have provided families up and down the UK with special bonding time and nearly three quarters (74%) of parents feel they have a stronger relationship with their child as a result of lockdown.

Over three quarters (78%) of parents have found following a routine to be a savior during this period particularly when it comes to bedtime (58%). A third more dads have been around for the important bath time routine, another key bonding moment with little ones where scents and touch come into play, as well as fun.

Due to parents being at home, they have been able to experience more of their children’s major milestones that they might have missed in their pre-lockdown lives. Nearly 9 in 10 (88%) dads agreed that they’ve been able to experience more with their child, that they would or may have otherwise missed. More than two thirds (67%) have witnessed first words, smiles, crawls, laughs, or bike rides as a consequence of lockdown. In fact, one of the key silver linings of lockdown, highlighted by parents (46%) was seeing their child’s development in real-time.

The past three months have seen the UK’s parents taking on a multitude of additional roles; they are now also wearing a variety of other capes from teacher, to partner, cook, cleaner, employee, the list goes on. The pressure to perform in these roles has been mounting, with over two thirds (67%) admitting lockdown and their related experience has left them feeling more pressure as a parent. However, these new roles may be growing on them, as 43% say they feel more confident in the role of teacher since lockdown began.

The increase in time spent together at home has also given the UK’s families time to bond. In fact, over half of dads surveyed (56%) feel that they have built a stronger relationship with their partner as a result of lockdown as they come together as a team to navigate parenting through the unknown. Parents have been learning from their new normal, and a quarter (25%) of parents believe the best lesson they’ve learnt from lockdown is to put less pressure on themselves. Due to spending more time with their child(ren) during lockdown, the top three traits parents have learnt are: to be more patient (67%), more kind (32%), and more gentle (32%).

This does not mean, however, that they aren’t excited to get back into the world once more. Families feel like their children have been missing out on seeing other family members (60%) and playing with other children (48%) during this period. In fact, the things parents are looking forward to most once lockdown is over are their children seeing their grandparents/family (64%) and meeting up with friends (33%).

Father and Olympic diver Tom Daley has partnered with JOHNSON’S® to raise awareness of the pressures that come with being a parent, particularly during the last few months of lockdown and encourage us all to be more gentle to ourselves.

Daley, father of one-year-old Robbie, commented: “Being out of our usual routine can be really daunting and hard to navigate for everyone. For me, this is the longest time in my career that I’ve been away from training. However, if this situation has taught me anything, it’s the importance of family and time together. I’ve spent so much more time with Robbie learning about what he likes and doesn’t and bath times have become our thing, I love watching him playing with the bubbles and splashing around! It certainly hasn’t been all roses, there have been several tantrums (mainly from Robbie), but that’s why I’m so proud to be part of the JOHNSON’S® #ChooseGentle campaign, to encourage parents to remember to be gentle to themselves, because we won’t get it right every time, we just have to enjoy the special moments and do the best we can.”

Despite being a time of much uncertainty, with worries and difficulties for many, this has also been a time to learn from and decide what we want to take back with us into the world once it is safe to do so. Not to just be kinder and gentler to each other, but gentler to ourselves. We don’t always have to be getting it right, just do the best we can.

The top five silver linings’ and learnings from parent’s lockdown experience:

1. The importance of spending time with my family all together (56%)
2. Having the opportunity to bond more with my child (51%)
3. The importance of slowing down and taking time to appreciate what I've got (48%)
4. Seeing my children's development in real-time (46%)
5. To be more gentle/put less pressure on myself as a parent (25%)

Visit @johnsonsbabyuk for more information or search #ChooseGentle across social media.