From bribing their kids through the school gates with fizzy drinks and biscuits to leaving them to fend for themselves over breakfast, new research hears the shocking confessions of Scottish working parents.
Describing the mornings as ‘stressful’, just a fifth of working mums and dads claimed they found time to enjoy breakfast with their children, with nearly a third of parents confessing their children would be left unsupervised in the mornings if it wasn’t for school Breakfast Clubs.
Reflecting on the school run 21 per cent of mums in Scotland felt they let their children down – admitting their children didn’t always dress their best for school, due to the stressful morning rush before work.
Hurried working parents even confessed to giving their kids energy drinks (15 per cent), biscuits (20 per cent) and chocolate (12 per cent) to get them out the door in the mornings.
Desperate to maintain a healthy work-family life balance, the study by Kellogg’s showed nearly 58 per cent of parents in Scotland described school breakfast clubs as a ‘very important’ life-line for their families survival and routine.
The Kellogg’s study, ‘The Parent’s Lifeline’, which looks into the role school breakfast clubs play in the lives of working families, showed how stretched families are also relying on breakfast clubs to provide adequate childcare.
Shockingly across Scotland, England and Wales the report revealed a third of working mums would have to give up work if it wasn’t for the school breakfast clubs, due the rising costs of childcare.
Interestingly one in five recognised the cost for alternative morning childcare would mean they would have to tighten their purse strings, with nearly 20 per cent of parents in Scotland claiming they save more than £50 every week due to morning clubs.
And more than a quarter believing they saved at least £25 per week by sending their children to breakfast clubs.
The survey of 2,003 working parents showed in Scotland 31 percent said they relied on their clubs to ensure they got to work on time – with nearly a third claiming they felt less stressed and anxious knowing their children had a breakfast routine at school.
Megan Jarvie, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the Family and Childcare Trust argued breakfast clubs are not just about ensuring children have an adequate meal in the mornings but also providing busy families with much needed support.
She said: “Breakfast clubs are about much more than just cereal and toast in the morning – our research shows that breakfast clubs can help children do better in school and beyond, can help parents commit to their job’s work hours and can provide working families with the support they need to manage a work-life balance in modern Britain.
“Too many families are struggling to access childcare that meets their needs, but extended schools services like breakfast clubs can help fill the gaps when there is not enough out of school childcare available. They help boost outcomes for children from all backgrounds and support parents to work.”
Lifting the lid on the stressful home lives of Scottish parents, the study showed how the fast-paced modern dynamic leaves more than a third failing to provide their children with a week day breakfast.
And 54 percent of Scots said breakfast clubs improved their children’s social interaction – with more than quarter admitting it got their children off social media they would be distracted by if they were at home.
Kellogg’s has been supporting breakfast clubs in schools for 18 years providing funding, cereal donations and training to a network of 2,500 Breakfast Clubs across the UK.
Dave Lawlor, UK managing Director for Kellogg’s, added: “Recent research has shown eating breakfast improves educational attainment.
“However it is not just children who benefit, Breakfast Clubs are also a vital resource to help working parents, saving millions in childcare costs and delivering benefits for employers across the UK.
“They are a lifeline, particularly for those parents on lower incomes.
“However it isn’t just the financial benefits, interestingly the report showed parents who take advantage of breakfast clubs are, on the whole, more likely to feel happier and calmer, with 59 per cent saw a boost in wellbeing.”
To read more check out The Parent’s Lifeline report at www.breakfast-club.co.uk or join the discussion on social @KelloggsUK #ParentsLifeline.