No time to play with the kids during working week

Parents with their son and daughter walking in a forest
Parents with their son and daughter walking in a forest

Parents are struggling to find the time to play physical games with their children – with 40 per cent of mums and dads confessing they only have time at weekends.

Long working hours and commuting means three-quarters of parents no longer have time to play sport, bike ride or chase around with their kids every day, according to a survey by school sport organisation Team Activ and Sheffield Hallam University.

Three per cent of parents admit they are so busy with work, they only play physical games with their children on holiday.

Primary school pupils and their parents were quizzed about physical activity for research by Team Activ, a social enterprise which provides sports competitions, PE teacher training and after school sports clubs.

The research, by the university’s business students, asked parents how often they played physical activities as a family with their child. Three per cent said only on holiday, 26 per cent said every day, 30 per cent said sometimes and 40 per cent said only on weekends.

In short interviews with the survey, some parents said their work was too time consuming midweek.

Darren Padgett, director of Team Activ, said: “Many parents think their children do enough physical activity at school but that’s not the case. Ideally children need to be active for an hour a day and if they are outside, it’s even better for their health.

“Parents want their children to do more sports within school time because they only have time to play outdoors with them at weekends but children want to spend time with their parents more than anyone else. Playing together gives parents a chance to communicate with their children and bonds your relationship.”

The survey comes as Playday, organised by the National Children’s Bureau, takes place across the UK on August 6. It’s a campaign to highlight the importance of play in children’s lives. Earlier this month, the National Trust found most children play outdoors for less than an hour a day.

Team Activ has organised the Go Wild In the Peak District event where parents and children can get active together, compete against other families and have fun. It takes place on Saturday, September 13 from 10am to 5pm at Thornbridge Outdoors Centre, Derbyshire.

Darren added: “Family is the ultimate team and this is a great chance to have fun and make some memories. Finding a fun, physical challenge that everyone can enjoy is tough which is why we created Go Wild In. It’s packed with physical feats and healthy competition with other families. Challenges include climbing, orienteering, running, cycling, navigating and zip wire activities in a breath-taking location.”

The survey was carried out among parents whose children attend secondary and primary schools in Barnsley.

Do you have time to play with your kids during the working week? Email: comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk