Get down with the kids dad!

Here’s an interesting statistic I read the other day. According to new research from Novotel, only 10% of UK dads really get down with the kids at playtime. In contrast, one in three mums claim to have super powers including eyes in the back of their heads and the ability to see through walls with their x ray vision.

The survey of British parents also revealed that:

  • Nearly half of parents believe that imaginative play is beneficial to a child as it allows them to use their creativity
  • One in ten dads have only had involvement with imaginative play at home
  • Nearly one in three UK mums have claimed to their children that they have super powers including eyes in the back of their heads or that they have x-ray vision and can see through walls
  • 20% of parents have hurt themselves in order to make their children smile
  • Nearly 50% of UK parents have told their children carrots make you see in the dark
  • Nearly 30% of parents say that their children are distracted by technology, which has had an impact on using their imagination
  • More than one in ten UK adults have told their children that the sound of the ice cream van meant that they had actually run out of ice cream

Perhaps unsurprisingly the survey found that technology had a way of distracting children from imaginative play — with 40% of parents in the North East particularly concerned with this development.

More encouragingly, parents do seem to be making an effort to make their children enjoy playtime. More than half use funny voices to amuse children when reading them stories; one in five UK dads dress up as Santa at Christmas of course but also one in 20 dress as princesses to make the little ones laugh.

Lying is supposed to be frowned upon — but who doesn’t smile with parents who tell their children that the sound of the ice cream van meant that the van was out of ice cream, that carrots make you see in the dark, that if they make a stupid face and the wind changes they will look like that for ever. And more than 60% explained that if they misbehave Santa wouldn’t be coming around with the presents.

Maybe a white lie is permitted if it’s funny and stimulating? I think we’d probably all agree on that one.