Covid-19 is bringing families closer together - study

Published 23 April 2020  |  
Unsplash/Dimitri Houtteman

While the coronavirus pandemic has thrown up many unexpected challenges this year, families appear to be flourishing, one study suggests.

In a survey of 2,000 British parents by MumPoll, four in five parents believe that their family bond has only grown stronger since the lockdown started.

Six in 10 respondents even said they were now happier with their spouse or partner than ever before, StudyFinds reports.

More than half of respondents said their family was passing the time by playing boardgames and doing puzzles together, while nearly a third (30%) said they had created a family book club to read together.

Over a quarter of families (28%) said they were gardening together to while away the hours, while many are trying to be careful with the amount of time their kids spend in front of screens.

Only a third of parents said they were allowing their kids to spend more time watching TV, while just a quarter said their kids were on phones, tablets and video games more now than before.

The survey revealed other positive benefits from the lockdown, with nearly two thirds of parents (62%) saying that their children had become more "community minded", and around half sending their kids out to run errands for their friends and neighbours.

Over half (53%) said their kids had picked up prescriptions for an older neighbour, while three in four respondents had told their kids to take groceries to vulnerable people in their community. Around half of parents said they had reached out to those in isolation over the phone to offer mental health support.

One challenging area, though, has been homeschooling, with nine in 10 admitting they now have much more respect for their children's teachers.

But couples have been pleasantly surprised by the state of their relationships. While over half were worried about the impact of quarantine at the start of the lockdown, 60% said they were happier with their partner four weeks into lockdown.

"Being forced to halt our busy lives and spend time together in quarantine has made many of us consider what's really important, like children, parents and the community they are part of," says Siobhan Freegard, founder of ChannelMum.com, which commissioned the research.

"Despite the dreadful toll the pandemic is taking, people are becoming more thankful for the small pleasures in life. Coronavirus may well see us emerge a kinder community and more thankful for the things we enjoy in life."

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