Parents spend 597 million hours a year ‘waiting' on their children
New research from Sainsbury's car insurance reveals that parents spend more than two and a half days each year sitting in their cars ‘waiting' on children to finish sporting and social events. The average parent that drives children to sporting and social events sits for an hour and a quarter every week waiting for them to finish.
Although almost a third of a million parents spend over five hours waiting for their children each week, which equates to over 10 days a year spent sat in their vehicles, parents report that they really value the opportunity to drive their children to events. This could be because for many, it may be the only opportunity they have to engage without distractions.
Around a third (30%) of parents who drive children to events claim it is one of the few opportunities they have to talk to them without being distracted by televisions, iPods and computer games. Almost one in five (17%) say it is some of the best quality time they spend with their children. The car can provide a bonding environment for families, with 7% saying that it is the only chance they really have to talk to them.
Ben Tyte, Head of Sainsbury's Car Insurance said: "Parents often claim their children expect them to wait on them hand and foot and our research confirms that for many, this is the case, only they are also waiting behind the wheel for them. Parents devote significant time from their busy lives driving children to events and waiting while they finish. Far from being a bind however, millions of parents feel they spend valuable time with their children in the car, free from the myriad of electronic distractions in the home."
On average parents drive 24.7 miles a week taking their children to and from social, sporting and other recreational events. However, around 955,000 parents (10% of those who drive their children to these events) clock up over 50 miles a week on these journeys.
Sainsbury's Bank has created an online parental taxi calculator. It calculates the amount mums and dads around the country would have to spend to hire a taxi to cover the hours, minutes and miles they put in for their kids. Visitors to the new Sainsbury's Bank's Facebook page can also view videos of two real life 'mum and dad cabs': facebook.com/sainsburysbank
From a regional point of view, parents in London drive the furthest, covering 36.13 miles a week taking their children to social events. They also spend the longest time (two hours and 52 minutes) waiting in their cars for their children to finish.