Bless this mess: survey reveals the real truth of parenting in lockdown
Felt tip pen on the walls, slime on the sofa and entire kitchen cupboards emptied out - just some of the things British parents have had to deal with whilst in lockdown.
Neath, United Kingdom, 21 May 2020: A new survey by household towel brand, Regina Blitz, has revealed some eye-opening truths about the mess parents have had to endure while their children are off school. But whilst kiddie chaos is taking over, most parents are taking it in their stride, stressing less about the mess and thinking more of the lasting memories that are being made.
The study found that nearly half of parents (44 percent) said they’ve turned their backs for a few seconds only to find their child had tipped an entire plate of food over themselves. A third have also had to try and get rid of felt tip drawings on the sofa or have had their little darlings come in from the garden covered from head to toe in mud.
The impossible-to-clean glitter has also been spilt across a quarter of the nation’s carpets, while slightly less (23 percent) have had slime rubbed into upholstery. In fact, the study shows the average parent now spends up to nine hours a week clearing up after their kids, even though parents will ask kids to clean up after themselves 20 times a week.
Mud pies, mucky clothes and faces covered in dirt are commonplace for happy kids.”
However, encouragingly 98 percent of parents believe that kids getting messy is in fact a GOOD thing, with over half saying it helps their creativity and imagination. 44 percent say that the memories messy play makes are timeless and four in 10 say they’d rather their kids were messy than on screens all day.
Psychologist Emma Kenny who was involved in the survey said, “The findings demonstrate that whilst every parent wishes that their child came with a stain free guarantee, they still feel that messy play is an imperative part of childhood.
“Many studies have shown that a happy child thrives in their environment through creative expression. Young children do this through messy play as it is firstly fun, and secondly a fantastic way to change the environment around you.
“Whilst parents can often find cleaning up after their children frustrating, and a little exhausting, they also understand how important a sense of freedom is for their little ones. Mud pies, mucky clothes and faces covered in dirt are commonplace for happy kids.”
Commenting on the findings, Rosa Carpanini from Regina Blitz who commissioned the research, said: “We know that parents sometimes find cleaning up after their children tiring and stressful. And whilst not all parents love the reality of glitter, mud, sand and slime, it’s important to remember that creative and messy play is actually good for our kids, it’s something we like to call ‘Happimess’. It’s all about embracing the mess in order to make memories, and thanks to Regina Blitz’s larger-sized sheets compared to standard kitchen towels, it’s perfect to tackle even the toughest household tasks.”
...it’s important to remember that creative and messy play is actually good for our kids, it’s something we like to call ‘Happimess’.
The survey also revealed that the messiest kids in the country seem to live in Cardiff where parents spend on average 12 hours a week cleaning after them, compared to London where parents only spend eight hours tidying away.
Parents from Cambridge are the least happy about mess, with 64 percent of parents in the university city saying they are more likely to cry than laugh when it comes to mess.
TOP LOCKDOWN MESSES
1. Tipping an entire plate of food over themselves 44%
2. Felt tip pen drawings on the sofa 33%
3. Clothes covered in mud from the garden 33%
4. Make-up smeared everywhere 31%
5. The living room walls covered in pen drawings 30%
6. Covered from head to toe in something such as face cream 26%
7. Glitter spilt all over the house that took months to get rid of 25%
8. Slime smeared across furniture and upholstery 23%
9. Broken furniture due to boisterous games 21%
10. Mud on the carpet from riding bikes/scooters in the house 16%
11. Every kitchen cupboard emptied out 16%
12. Coloured brother or sister in with permanent marker 14%
13. Left a tap running and caused a flood 13%
14. Jam rubbed all over the carpet 13%
15. Dug up a house plant and got compost all over themselves 11%
16. Broken a window by kicking a football inside 8%