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Parents spend almost three hours a week – negotiating with their kids

negotiating with their kids

Parents spend almost three hours a week – negotiating with their kids, it has emerged.

Research carried out among 2,000 mums and dads found almost two thirds believe parenting is just ‘a constant round’ of mediation.

The average parent also spends 24 minutes of every day doing ‘deals’ with their offspring in an attempt to secure a compromise or get them to behave or eat food.

Around one in three negotiate by threatening to take away something, such as their favourite toy, while 42 per cent threaten a TV or screen ban.

Other parents polled by children’s vitamins firm Wellkid, said they remove the choice of sweets or dessert, confiscate their computer, games console and gadgets.

Holding back a chunk of pocket money is also an option for many.

Bribery is commonplace too, with 20 per cent offering to let their children stay up later if they carry out a task, while 16 per cent offer extra pocket money as an incentive.

It also emerged dads are the biggest ‘pushovers’ at home with mums most likely to call the shots when it comes to the time children spend watching TV or playing computer games, the amount of sweets or fizzy drinks consumed and bedtime.

Mums are most likely to lay down the law when getting children to do their homework, eat everything on their plate or try new foods.

But dads are the strictest parents when it comes to dealing with their children’s behaviour and discipline.

A spokesperson for Wellkid from Vitabiotics, said: “Unfortunately, it’s not always as simple as just asking children to do something, and then they do it.

“Parents have to resort to all kinds of negotiations to persuade their children to behave in a certain way or eat the food which is put in front of them.

“It’s just about finding something that works for you and your child.

“But it seems mums are mostly to be the tougher parent when negotiating, with the results showing they are most likely to be the ones getting their children to do everything they should be doing, whether that’s their homework, eating a balanced diet or simply not spending all day glued to a screen.

“But while dads may be adopting a more laid-back approach to these aspects of parenting, they are still the ones keeping an eye on bad behaviour.”

The study also found four in 10 parents say they and their partner often adopt a ‘good cop, bad cop’ approach to parenting.

Forty per cent of mums and dads would describe their parenting style as ‘soft’ while just 31 per cent reckon they are usually strict with their children.

And 41 per cent said mum has the title of ‘The Strict One’ in their household, compared to just three in 10 who name that as the dad’s role.

But 65 per cent of parents believe both themselves and their partner are both strict, just at different aspects of parenting.

When it comes to homework, 46 per cent of parents believe mums are most likely to make sure it is completed compared to just 14 per cent who say this falls to dad.

Almost four in 10 also say mum decides how long children should spend watching TV or playing computer games in their household, with just one in five saying this is left to dad to police.

Mums also call the shots when it comes to telling children how much food they should tuck into at mealtimes, what fruit and vegetables they eat and whether or not they are allowed to play computer games with older age ratings.

But 31 per cent reckon dads are most likely to be strict at making sure children are well-behaved and face the consequences if they aren’t, compared to 28 per cent who say mum.

It also emerged more than one in three parents believe mealtimes and food are the biggest reason for disagreements in their household, with 37 per cent admitting they tend to be stricter on what their child eats than anything else.

Four in 10 try to bribe their children with rewards to try and get them to eat their food, while another 38 per cent threaten to take things away from their youngster if they don’t eat what is on their plate.

It doesn’t always work though with 76 per cent of parents saying they have had times where they have worried about whether their child is eating the right foods or getting enough.

And one in five of those polled, via OnePoll, have even sought advice from a professional to try and get them to eat more or have a better diet.

Who is the stricter parent…
Homework Mum (46 per cent) Dad (14 per cent)
Time spent watching the TV Mum (37 per cent) Dad (22 per cent)
Time spent on computer games Mum (37 per cent) Dad (20 per cent)
Eating everything on your plate Mum (34 per cent) Dad (25 per cent)
How much sweets or chocolate is eaten Mum (39 per cent) Dad (21 per cent)
How many fizzy drinks are drunk Mum (36 per cent ) Dad (17 per cent)
Getting children to bed at a certain time Mum (39 per cent) Dad (22 per cent)
Getting children trying new foods Mum (36 per cent) Dad (19 per cent)
Fruit and veg consumed by children Mum (43 per cent) Dad (12 per cent)
Playing computer games older than their age Mum (30 per cent) Dad (19 per cent)
Watching TV shows or films considered too old Mum (31 per cent) Dad (19 per cent)
Playing with balls in the house Mum (30 per cent) Dad (24 per cent)
Pocket money Mum (25 per cent) Dad (24 per cent)
Buying children what they want Mum (32 per cent) Dad (25 per cent)
Bad behaviour and punishment Mum (28 per cent) Dad (31 per cent)

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