Almost half (45 percent) of parents in the region claim their children are spending more time in their bedroom than they did pre-COVID. On average, these children are spending an additional four hours in their rooms per day. Almost half (40 percent) of parents whose children are spending more time in their rooms say they are spending five or more additional hours in there every day, suggesting that many children are spending almost the entire day in the same room.
The study, conducted amongst parents in the UK by leading name label and wall sticker manufacturer My Nametags (https://www.mynametags.com/), assessed how children are spending the additional time indoors and the impact it is having on the next generation.
The impact is significant. More than half (54 percent) of parents in the South East whose children have been spending additional time in their rooms are concerned that their children have been negatively affected by this. Only a tiny minority (four percent) said the impact has been positive. This reflects the feelings of parents across the nation, with nearly half (44 percent) of UK parents expressing concern about the additional time their children are spending in their rooms.
Boredom is the most common by-product of spending more time confined to their rooms, according to parents in the South East, with almost half (40 percent) saying their children are often at a loose end. However, parents referenced a wide range of negative side effects, demonstrating the true extent of the impact lockdown is having on children’s wellbeing. These include being less motivated (36 percent), having decreased social skills (36 percent), and being more frustrated (32 percent). Many parents also cited that their children have experienced loneliness, are more easily distracted, and have less confidence than they did pre-pandemic.
The impact on children comes as no surprise, given that they are now using their bedrooms for all aspects of their lives. The study found that children are regularly using their rooms for schoolwork (68 percent), eating meals (43 percent), socialising (40 percent), and playing (32 percent).
Commenting on the findings, Parenting Expert Bea Marshall says: “It is evident from this research, and other research that has been published over the last year, that the impact of the disruption to our children’s lives due to COVID-19 has been significant. Lockdowns and other restrictions have meant that whole families have had to completely rethink life together and that has meant a dramatic increase in time spent together in one place, largely indoors.
“Our children have been under significant pressure to adapt quickly to a new paradigm. During times of stress, bedrooms can be places of refuge, peace and comfort so it is natural that children would seek out their private space to avoid sibling conflict, overstimulation and to recharge their energy. For this reason, the increased time spent in their bedrooms should not automatically be a cause for concern for parents.
“The impact of COVID-19 on our children’s mental health is significant and is showing up in their behaviour and engagement. As we move towards fewer restrictions our children will have the opportunity to restore balance as they spend time with friends again, go back to their classrooms, and hopefully longer days and warmer weather will lead to more time outdoors.”
Lars B Andersen, Managing Director at My Nametags, concludes: “At My Nametags, we speak to thousands of parents every day and know first-hand just how hard the pandemic has been on families across the UK. Whilst there is light at the end of the tunnel, current restrictions are continuing to limit our day-to-day lives, so we were interested to see how the additional time spent indoors is affecting our customers and their families.
“From being bored more often, through to having a shorter temper and losing confidence, it’s clear from the findings that the current lockdown measures are taking their toll on the younger generation. Whilst we don’t have much control over the amount of time children are spending at home at the moment, we do have control over the environment, and simple changes can make a big difference in ensuring children’s bedrooms are a positive space for them to spend time in. As bedrooms have never been so important, we’ve pulled together a list of easy tips to ensure that they remain a space that children can escape to and enjoy.”
Top five tips for improving children’s bedroom space:
1. Create a dedicated workspace to separate homework, sleep and play. If possible, this workspace should be outside of the bedroom.
2. Ensure you are allowing plenty of natural light into the room – it’s the world’s natural mood booster.
3. Brighten up the space by using temporary wall stickers to add pops of colour in a quick and affordable way.
4. Declutter – a crowded, messy bedroom can be overstimulating and lead to disruptive sleep patterns. A tidy room will also feel brighter and airier.
5. Make a weekly plan to ensure you are regularly spending time outside of the home as a family – this might be a walk in the woods or a trip to the park.
To view the full list of top tips, visit https://www.mynametags.com/blog/2021/03/my-nametags-explores-the-impact-of-lockdown-on-children/.