PARENTS

We've Never Had It So Hard: Family Life In Britain Is Toughest For Generations

24/03/2011 15:59 | Updated 22 May 2015

family lifeA major new survey on family life in Britain has revealed some shocking statistics on parenting, finances and lifestyle.

The poll of 1008 parents in the Family Lives (formerly Parentline Plus) online survey found that 70 of grandparents agree it's harder for modern parents than it was for them.

The survey found a whopping 76 saying parenthood was much easier than they had expected.

Unsurprisingly, money worries are the bane of many families' lives with 53.5% of respondents saying their family finances are in a worse state than last year. The report also found many grandparents are still on daily 'parenting duties', but this time for their grandchildren.

The survey concluded that today's parents are unprepared and pressurised, with many feeling the strain of trying to be the 'perfect parent', whilst battling financial worries and 'sandwich generation' caring obligations (looking after an elderly relative whilst also caring for a child).

Jeremy Todd, Chief Executive of Family Lives, said of the findings:

'Families that we are in contact with are telling us stories of real economic and psychological hardship. Our report shows that the needs of the family are changing and as a society we must listen and adapt to meet these needs. To misquote Harold Macmillan's infamous remark, it's clear that parents have 'never had it so tough' as they do today.

'The scale and intensity of the challenges of family life in Britain today are growing. The rise of the 'perpetual parent' and the growing 'sandwich generation' are just two of the groups that the report identifies as having growing support needs. Now is clearly a time for the government to invest in effective family support.

'The government's 'family friendly reform agenda' acknowledges that the quality of parenting is the single-most important determinant of the life chances of a child, and that the strength and stability of adult relationships in the family are vital to the well-being of children. However these welcome good intentions need to be matched with policy measures and investment to ensure that families receive the right support in the right way at the right time. With families saying that their single biggest worry is making ends meet with the family finances, and the conflict and stress that this causes, our survey evidence suggests that adequate investment needs to be made, not just despite of the cuts, but because of them.'

What do you think of this report?

Do you feel pressurised and stressed by family life?

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