Our research backs up what many of us already know and experience: parents can be conflicted over the summer holidays, wanting to spend fun and memorable times with their children while worrying about what activities they can undertake and the cost of these.
Billie-Jean Poole, Community Relations Executive at E.ON
13
August
2018
|
12:14
Europe/London

STEM the summer holiday stress: new research reveals parents’ key concerns over the school holidays

STEM the summer holiday stress: new research reveals parents’ key concerns over the school holidays

  • Around a third of parents worry about how to keep their children entertained over the summer holidays (31%) and how they’ll pay for their activities (36%)

  • Parents admit to feeling uncomfortable talking to their children about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects

  • But with the average cost of keeping kids entertained coming in at £534 over the holiday, E.ON encourages parents to carry out free at-home STEM activities with their children

     

The long school holidays should be the perfect opportunity for parents to spend quality time with their children, but new research1 from E.ON with 2,000 parents of children aged four to 10 years has revealed that almost a third of parents (31%) spend their summers worrying about how they’re going to fill the time with their children.

The main cause for concern is the expense of the holidays, with 36% of parents admitting to being anxious about covering the cost of keeping their children entertained which adds up to £534 for six weeks’ activity and treats. Working parents spend an average of £179 a week on childcare, totalling £1,074 for the typical six-week break from school.

Parents also worry about taking time off work (14%), while 12% struggle to find activities to do with their children. Perhaps then it’s not surprising to find one in seven parents (15%) admit they don’t look forward to the school holidays.

According to the research, parents know what they’d like to make the school holidays more pleasurable for them and their children, with better weather (41%), more free activities to do at home (31%) and outdoors (61%) and more educational activities (17%) on their wish lists.

While 29% of parents are happy that their children get a break from school over the summer, educational activities are popular ways to fill the days, including visiting free museums (24%), following nature trails (22%) and going to the library (18%).

The research also found that parents are not always comfortable talking to their children about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects when they crop up during a day out or while watching television. One in five (20%) parents is uncomfortable talking about maths, while for physics the number is nearly one in ten (9%). The reasons given for this include not knowing enough about the subject (42%), being unsure of how to make it interesting for children (34%) and feeling embarrassed at not knowing the answer (33%).

Billie-Jean Poole, Community Relations Executive at E.ON, said: “Our research backs up what many of us already know and experience: parents can be conflicted over the summer holidays, wanting to spend fun and memorable times with their children while worrying about what activities they can undertake and the cost of these.

“Activities do exist that don’t cost anything and the parents we spoke to are already making use of these in many cases. But six weeks is a real chunk of time, and if you do find yourself struggling to fill it, I’d encourage you to check out the free educational activities available on our website.

“There are step-by-step instructions for you to follow with your children at home, so even if you count yourself among the parents who don’t feel science or engineering is their strength, there’s nothing to stop you creating your own lightning or building a self-propelled car together.”

E.ON’s free at-home STEM activities include:

  • Kicking up a storm and creating your own lightning - can your children make objects glow and spark in the dark without setting light to anything?

  • Everyday household objects can be great stores of energy - use materials from your recycling bin, bedroom or kitchen drawers to help your children to build a self-propelled car and race it.

  • Challenge your children to make a cool box to store an ice lolly - invite some friends to join in and hold a competition to see whose lolly melts last.

E.ON offers a range of educational activities through its ‘Energise Anything’ programme, including web based resources designed for parents to use at home, workshops for schools and visits to E.ON sites. Since January, more than 8,000 pupils have taken part in an E.ON workshop learning about saving energy at home or electrical circuits. Check out our blog for more information about E.ON’s STEM activities and a chance to win cinema tickets this summer.

Find out more about E.ON’s range of solutions in addition to gas and electricity supply including boilers, smart thermostats, solar energy, insulation, air source heat pumps and smart meters.

Ends

Notes to Editors:

  1. Research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of E.ON in July 2018 with 2,000 parents of primary school-aged children.

For more information contact:

Jane Branscombe, 07921 491 159, jane.branscombe@eon-uk.com

Jag Bickham, 07769 880 981, jag.bickham@eon-uk.com

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