There is now more¬†pressure on parents as¬†a recent survey of teachers carried out by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), found that families spend less time together now, with many children spending up to 10 hours per day in either school or wrap around childcare, with many of these children lagging behind their peers, not talking to anyone and fall asleep in class.
Out of the 1,343 members polled, 56% felt children spent less time with their families than those of 20 years ago. 74% felt families had less time together than they did five years ago and 61% thought they spent less time together than two years ago, with 94% believing the main reason for this is both parents working, while another 92% blamed the use of technology.
One school teacher in Kent, in response to the survey said: “Many of our parents are commuters into London and therefore work long hours. We have children as young as four who are at school 8am until 6pm, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Pressure on parents
Some of the teachers also added that because of these extremely long days with minimal family interaction, many children walk around like ghosts, not talking to anyone, falling asleep frequently and not progressing as quickly as their peers. But unfortunately, this is because many parents don’t have the choice and have to both work full time due to the increased financial pressures placed on families. Sadly, the need to work and bring in enough income, means there is little work-life balance and time spent as a family is no longer a priority.
Changes up for discussion
The findings of this survey will be discussed by the ATL at its general conference in Manchester today, with the hope that it will highlight this erosion of family life. It will challenge the governments proposed policies such as extending primary school hours and starting school at the age of two.
It’s clear that as a nation, we need to address our work-life balance and ensure family time with our children does become a priority, but with many parents having to work long hours to make ends meet, just quite how this will be achieved is unknown.