Feel like your life is one long, constant battle of trying to get your kids to tie their shoes, or brush their teeth, or do their homework, or just say "please"? Well, you're absolutely not making it up, and some new research will now back you up. According to The Independent, a new study has found just how much the average family argues and it will totally validate you as a parent.
The new research — commissioned by Capri-Sun, according to The Independent — found that the average family spends 49 minutes a day arguing. Naturally, as the study found, one of the most frequent topics of debate is what kids are eating and drinking. So the next time you find yourself in a kiddo conflict over the vegetables served at dinner (again), just remember: You're not the only one who thinks this parenting gig ain't easy.
The researchers, according to Fatherly, estimated the total of all family fights and broke it down to 2,184 arguments a year that parents will have with their children every year. That boils down to six skirmishes a day, 42 a week, and 182 a month. Whew! And even after all that arguing, according to The Independent, apparently parents only win about half the time, with the most frequent clashes occurring over such common parent triggers as messy bedrooms, too many devices, and a child's complaint that they are hungry, but don't like the (healthy) food being served. Hmmm, who would have guessed?
Researchers surveyed 2,000 parents of children aged 2 to 12 and found that food is one of the biggest sticking points in a family's dynamic, with parents often becoming frustrated by the same things, such as kids being too picky about eating and having sweets and desserts before healthy meals, according to The Mirror. Other sore spots for parents were kids putting off going to bed, kids begging for things that were too expensive and whose turn it is to do the dishes, according to The Independent. Is someone bugging my house or something? Because this is turning creepy.
Worst of all, the study turned up the sad fact that almost half of moms and dads will break down and make a deal, as outlined by Fatherly, to get children to eat and drink what they want them to. Parents typically caved with offers of extra time on gadgets — 22 percent — or money — 23 percent — as the most common goodies being dangled, according to The Sun.
And since you already knew where this whole thing was going, the study revealed that the average parent will ultimately turn to threats and white lies, according to SWNS Digital, including the biggie about a jolly old man in a red suit who won't be dropping anything off come the winter unless certain young people behave.
Let's be honest: All this dubious parenting comes as a huge to relief to those of us who wake up each day vowing to be an amazing parent... and then the morning starts. Still, according the Daily Star, referring to the same new study, there are small fixes to be made on the road to a better night, such as a 20-minute family walk that might help prevent arguments.
Such tactics are more important than ever with most parents working outside the home. If families have so little time to spend together, you don't want all those hours to be spent arguing, of course. Here in the United States, in fact, a recent study by ConAgra Foods found that 40 percent of American families eat together three times a week or less.
With families so busy and life so fast-paced, my family isn't the only one who needs to slow down and chill out. Having young children is stressful, yes, but it's also a very precious time. So, maybe, that argument over peas isn't totally worth it?