- Survey of British parents reveals six in ten say they’re happier with their spouse or partner than ever before.
- Quarter of respondents say the time together has improved their sex life!
LONDON — It’s quite understandable if family relationships are under a lot of strain while everyone is stuck at home together during the coronavirus lockdown. Yet a recent survey conducted in the United Kingdom shows that even amid such difficult circumstances, most families have risen above the stress to become even closer than they were before.
According to the survey of 2,000 British parents conducted by MumPoll, four in five parents believe their families have formed an even stronger bond since parents and kids have more time together during the lockdown. The survey finds that half of families are getting together to play board games and make puzzles. These can be a fun and competitive way to bring the family together for a few hours. Another 30% say they’ve formed book clubs and read together.
And some parents are engaging in new activities with their kids. Just over a quarter of families (28%) have picked up family gardening. Not only is it a great bonding activity and an excellent way to brighten up your backyard, but another recent study found that growing a garden is linked to a better body image.
Many parents have been keeping their families together by keeping everyone’s screen times the same — an interesting strategy for a time when children may be tempted to turn on the TV or flip open the laptop more than usual. Only one-third of parents allow their kids to watch more TV, and just one quarter of parents say their kids are spending more time on phones, tablets and video games.
Not only have family bonds grown stronger, but community bonds have gotten stronger as well. Sixty-two percent of parents report that their children are more “community minded,” with about half the kids running errands for their friends and neighbors throughout the shutdown. Nearly three in four respondents say their children are tasked with getting groceries for people in their community who are vulnerable to the coronavirus. And 53% have their kids picking up prescriptions for their older neighbors. Parents are happy to see that their kids are doing what they can to help out.
The survey also finds that more people are connecting with others. About half of those surveyed report that they have reached out to people in isolation over the phone to offer mental health support. This is a hard time for everyone, and phone calls are one of the few ways we can lend each other support.
“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.”
Meanwhile, most parents have not taken to homeschooling too well. Nine in ten admit they have a much higher respect for their children’s teachers and educators.
A portion of the survey asked how the shutdown has affected the couples they surveyed. At the start of the lockdown more than half the couples had a grim outlook as to what the quarantine would do to their relationship. It turns out the opposite happened for most: 60% of parents report that they are happier with their partner after four weeks in quarantine.
Some couples have even been finding that their sex lives have benefitted from the shutdown. A quarter of parents report having sex more often, and some of those have even found the time for daily relations. Most parents say that when they do have sex, it’s usually for a ‘quickie’ since they have to juggle their time around family commitments.
“It seems that many couples are using the extra time together to get ‘Lockdown and Dirty.’ It’s certainly a great way to relieve stress and keep relationships alive in this difficult time – if you can get the privacy,’ says Freegard.