Parents value advice & support from organisations according to new survey on family life

81% of parents polled think that all parents could benefit from advice and information on effective ways of addressing their children’s behaviour

77% agreed that parents with kids under 5 could benefit from more advice and information on effective ways of addressing their younger child’s behaviour.

84.3% of women think that all parents could benefit from advice and information on effective ways of addressing their children’s behaviour, compared to 76.50% of men that think the same.

Over 2/3rds of parents think that parents with children over 12 could benefit from more advice and information on effective ways of addressing their children’s behaviour.

New survey results from CANparent* finds parent respondents value advice and support from family members, peers and support networks. CANparent has released the data to mark the national roll-out of its website offering parenting classes available via www.canparent.org.uk.  

Key findings include:

Parents today – unprepared and pressurised?

Nearly half of respondents feel that there isn’t enough parenting advice available for those with children aged and 9-11 (47%) and 6-8 (41.4%).

42% of parents of children under 1 years old feel that there isn’t enough advice for raising children of this age group.

42% of single parents feel believe that there isn’t enough parenting advice relevant to children aged 2-5, compared to 29% of married parents.

Over half (52%) of parents with a child aged 10, think that there isn’t enough parenting advice aimed at those with children aged 9-11

Mum knows best when it comes to stress?

Nearly half of parents surveyed said they would turn to their mother or mothers-in-law for help, 22% indicated siblings or family members and 21% said they would confide in their best friend.

Over 2 in 5 women (43%) said they would feel happy confiding in their best friend, compared to only 26% of men who said the same.

Over 1 in 20 men (6.30%) said they wouldn’t feel happy confiding in anyone. 

Accessibility and Willingness to Access Parenting Support

More than half (54.40%) of parents said they have sought help or advice on a parenting or childcare issue, and nearly 46% stated they had never sought parenting help or advice at all.

Almost 3 in 5 (59.60%) Female parents said they have sought help or advice on a parenting or childcare issue.

More than 3 in 5 (60.70%) of single parents said they have sought help or advice on a parenting or childcare issue.

More than half (52.60%) of male parents said they haven’t sought help or advice on a parenting or childcare issue.

Almost 3 in 5 parents in Northern Ireland said they haven’t sought help or advice on a parenting or childcare issue.

A parent who attended a CANparent class said: "Often people have the perception that the moment you become a parent you know what to do or the knowledge comes to you somehow... but this is far from being real… The course has been mind-opening and so important for both me and my child.  I think all parents need guidance and support. They need to know that around them there are tools and simple techniques they can introduce to the child's life that will help them both: becoming closer to one another, communicating more and growing together.  I am so glad I took this course, I have learned a great deal about being a parent and it was so worth it! I will treasure all the advice and I will definitely practice how to give clear instructions. I will keep the special time as part of our routine, I will pay more attention to my child's feelings and I will do my absolute best to teach my child the skills they need throughout life.” 

Whilst parents who responded felt that accessing support when children were at toddler or infant school age. Some parents felt awkward accessing parental advice when their offspring were at school age.

Health Minister, Dr Dan Poulter said:

“Good parenting programmes can really help every child get the very best start in life. By providing support and advice for all parents, schemes like CANparent are helping develop parenting skills and improving the important early relationships between children and parents.”

Pamela Park, from CANparent says:  

“A third of parents (33%) we surveyed felt it’s not socially acceptable to ask for help when kids are at school age. One thing that remains a constant in family life is that parents and adult carers value and can benefit greatly from additional parenting support to tackle every day or -on occasions- challenging family situations whatever their child’s age. We must change the culture across the country so that seeking out parenting ideas and advice is seen as a positive and practical step.  We believe CANparent classes will play a role in achieving this.  We know that parents want help and advice in raising their children.  Currently, parents struggle to know which sources of advice are trustworthy.  CANparent’s charity partners have combined resources, experiences and a long history of raising public and professional awareness of the vital role of good parenting.  We want the whole family to engage with us in order to support their children to get the best start in life.”

Who do parents and adult carers turn to?

56% of parents went to family or friends with children for help or advice on a parenting or childcare issue.

Almost half (47.40%) of Females went to friends with kids the same age for help or advice on a parenting or childcare issue compared to 3 in 10 (29.70%) Males.

More than a third (34%) of parents used the internet for help or advice on a parenting or childcare issue.

Just over 1 in 10 (11.40%) of parents went to a parent support organisation.

Just over 1 in 10 (14.30%) of single parents went to a parent support organisation.

Almost 2 in 5 (39.80%) parents aged 35-44 use the internet for help or advice on a parenting or childcare issue. 

The objective of CANparent is to ensure its classes are quality mark approved, inclusive and easily accessible to parents and adult carers who wish to access support from professionals and fellow parent attendees regarding a variety of parenting dilemmas. CANparent aims to empower and equip parents with the skills to manage normal every-day and on occasion difficult parenting challenges. Ultimately CANparent aims to promote a shift in attitudes so that seeking family support is seen as a sign of strength.  

Parents wishing to seek family support and parenting advice can call 0808 800 1102 or visit www.canparent.org.uk to register their interest in attending online and face-to-face classes. 

-ends- 

Notes to editors: 

For media enquiries, contact: Family Lives’ Press & PR Manager via press@familylives.org.uk 

* CANparent is a consortium made up of Parenting UK – part of Family Lives, ECORYS, Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships and the Family and Childcare Trust. In January 2014, CANparent’s launched its Quality Mark - the only quality standard in the parenting support sector, developed by and for the sector and can be applied for by all types of organisations, from charities and social enterprises to private sector and local family organisations, delivering a Universal Parenting Class.

Background

  • Evaluation of the scheme shows that more than 8 in 10 parents would recommend CANparent classes.
  • Almost three quarters of parents who’ve completed a CANparent course think it has improved their relationship with their child.
  • To date more than 2400 parents have signed up for a CANparent class.

In addition to the survey’s findings, where parents have accessed CANparent support, 86% of respondents were satisfied with the course and 85% would recommend to other parents (152 parents). 

**1003 parents responded to CANparent and CensusWide online survey into Family Life. 426 were male. 577 were female.