LIFESTYLE

More Than A Third Of Mothers Have Favourite Child, Survey Suggests

11/06/2013 08:29 BST | Updated 11/06/2013 09:19 BST
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More than a third of mothers secretly have a favourite child, according to a parenting survey.

Thirty-four per cent of mothers and 28% of fathers admitted to preferring one of their children over the others, while more than half of the parents (54%) said they lied to other parents about weekend plans for their children.

The research - The State of Parenting Today by website Parentdish - looked into a day in the life of today's parents, and found that Holly Willoughby (23%) and David Beckham (20%) are the top celebrity role models in the UK.

They were followed by Angelina Jolie (8%) and Peter Andre (11%), with the public choosing these celebrities ahead of other famous parents, including Kate Moss, Lily Allen, Adele, Brad Pitt, Gary Barlow, Cherie Blair, Prince Charles and Jamie Oliver.

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In the survey of 2,212 parents, more than one in five felt pressured to buy their children the latest gadgets to fit in with other parents.

The research found just 10% of mums felt it was important to go back to work after having children to develop their career, with most citing financial reasons (63%) for their return to work, because they could not afford not to.

With over half (54%) lying about weekend plans for their kids, the research found that overall more mothers lied than fathers, with 22% lying about holiday plans and 18% about after school activities, whereas fathers lied more about grades (22%).

The research found men are quicker at changing nappies, with women taking an average of two minutes, five seconds, and men taking one minute, 36 seconds.

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Although overall outlook was positive and British parents are happy, 42% felt that things could be better with their children and 17% felt that they were going through a stressful time - but only 6% said they felt tired.

The stress appears to be a small factor though as 92% of parents said it was all worth it.

When asked why, watching their children play together (32%) and reading their child a story (24%) were reasons chosen as the most satisfying role of being a parent.

Of those parents surveyed, 42% cited unrequited love and affection were the things that made them happiest about being a parent, but Sunday lie-ins (40%) and money (38%) were the things they missed most.

Tamsin Kelly, editor of Parentdish, said: "Dads changing nappies quicker than mums is a surprise to me, although I am glad to see more dads getting stuck into this side of parenting.

"I am not surprised that mums and dads exaggerate their weekend plans though, as packing your children's lives with activities is a real area for parent competitiveness today."

On parents' choice of celebrity role models, she said: "Holly Willoughby and David Beckham have always been very popular with our readers.

"Compared to lots of other celebrity mums and dads, they both are successful career drive parents, but their devotion to their family is unquestionable."