Parents feel more confident and ‘closer to their children’ thanks to lockdown

Home schooling in lockdown isn’t easy – but parents have learnt a lot (Picture: Ella Byworth for

I think we can all agree that parents have had it tough during lockdown.

Not only are they coping with the stress of the pandemic and juggling the stresses of financial instability – many of them are also having to home school while working from home.

But it has also been a time for reflection, change and proving just how adaptable and resilient we are. And many parents say this time has taught them important life lessons.

Nearly three quarters (74%) of parents feel they have a stronger relationship with their child as a result of lockdown, according to new research.

The study, conducted by JOHNSON’S® Baby, also revealed that 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.

The study comes as family life enters yet another ‘new normal’, with school gates and classroom doors opening up across the country, and parents lives and routines having to adapt once again.

Many parents say they will be taking the lessons they have learnt over the last three months forward as they navigate the next phase.

Since March, parents have been fortunate 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. These moments have provided families with invaluable bonding time, as nearly three quarters (74%) of parents feel they have a stronger relationship with their child as a result of lockdown.

The top lessons parents have learnt in lockdown

  1. The importance of spending time with family all together (56%)
  1. Having the opportunity to bond more with the child (51%)
  1. The importance of slowing down and taking time to appreciate what they’ve got (48%)
  1. Seeing their children’s development in real time (46%)
  1. To be more gentle/put less pressure on themselves as a parent (25%)

The increase in time spent together at home has also given the UK’s families more 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, with 64% of parents revealing that they feel more confident in their parenting ability since lockdown began.

Olympic diver Tom Daley – who is father to two-year-old Robbie – hopes 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.

‘Being out of our usual routine can be really daunting and hard to navigate for everyone,’ says Tom.

‘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.’

‘’Ive 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.

‘Due to being home much more, I’ve also been able to witness so many of Robbie’s firsts in real-time. He’s recently completed his first puzzle all by himself and he’s even walking up the stairs on his own, he’s grown so much as a person during lockdown, and I’m really lucky to of witnessed that.’

However, while families seem to have cherished the time together and with pubs and restaurants opening up again and children starting to go back to school, 20% of parents are most looking forward to a meal out of the house without the kids, and 36% were looking forward to meeting up with friends.

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.

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