Top 20 Parenting Pressures Revealed

Top 20 Parenting Pressures Revealed
19 April 2016

Parenthood isn't always a walk in the park but the top twenty biggest pressures felt by parents might surprise you.

Having perfectly filtered Instagram pictures and well-travelled children are just some of the modern pressures we apparently face.

The study of 2,000 parents found that controlling screen time, facilitating extra-curricular interests, and making time for days out as a family are common concerns for modern mums and dads.

The research was commissioned by Thomson Cruises and revealed that the pressure parents feel to 'keep up with the Joneses' is increasing – the average mum and dad worries at least 20 times per month (an astonishing 260 times per year) over whether they're doing a good enough job at that. (What I want to know is when they're finding time to record how many times they've worried about that...)

What's more, sixty five percent of parents say they describe themselves as competitive, with a fifth revealing that they regularly compare their family achievements with those of other parents, and over half (51 per cent) admitting that school gate banter brings out their competitive side.

I raised an eyebrow several times whilst reading through these survey results but what surprised me most about this survey was that more than three quarters (78 per cent) feel travel and experiencing other cultures is important in a child's development - with a third feeling pressure to have a varied family holiday seeing different and exotic destinations each year.

Now don't get me wrong - I'd love to trail the kids to a different exotic destination around the globe every year but it doesn't matter how much pressure anyone heaps on me to do so, that's just not going to happen. We're hardcore staycationers in this house and I don't feel one bit ashamed of that. Between the price of flights outside of term-time and the perils of finding affordable holiday accommodation abroad as a party of five, I'm more than happy to let other parents run themselves ragged in the race to have boast-worthy family holiday snaps.

But we'd love to know which of the top 20 modern parenting pressures you identify with.


1. Entertaining the kids during the holidays instead of staying at home/watching TV/Playing computer games
2. Taking kids to interesting/cultured/educational places – museums, art galleries, theatre – instead of putting on the TV
3. Being able to answer/help with homework
4. Trying to get my child to experience variety/new things in life
5. Limiting the kids gadgets and technology time
6. Going on nice holidays/impressive holidays
7. Being seen as a 'cool' mum or dad
8. Pressure to spend more time with your children during school holidays (particularly if you work)
9. Enrolling the children into special clubs / events running in the holidays
10. Making sure the kids are 'well-travelled' and have been to various destinations
11. Making sure the kids have extra-curricular activities
12. Pressure from kids to have popular items of clothing and/or footwear
13. Having great family pics/ pics of the children
14. Teaching the kids about other cultures/ ways of life
15. Being able to hand-make outfits/ come up with good costumes
16. Producing impeccable birthday cakes/home-made goods
17. Being seen to be sporty and active
18. Being friends with other mums and dads on Facebook and WhatsApp
19. Making sure the kids always have something to tell their classmates about
20. To make my family look perfect on social media

What parenting pressures would you add to this list? And which ones, if any, weigh heavy on your mind and which made you laugh out loud? (Yes, I'm thinking of number 19...)


  • Rachel L.

    I couldn't care less about loads of those!

  • Carol S.

    Rubbish !!!!

  • Lisa N.

    None of these. More simple things like making sure they learn spellings, do their best at the homework, do a good job of brushing their teeth, get a good night's sleep, their diet. These seemingly trivial things are the ones I stress about.

  • Lou C.

    All of em!! :joy::family_mwgg:x

  • Lisa L.

    Really!! Can't quite believe these results

  • Sarah G.

    Not my pressures, having time to do homework but still letting them be kids and play to relax so it isn't just school homework sleep school etc etc its primary school why are they giving them so much homework :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

  • Suzanne P.

    It may be bias toward travel as research carried out by Thomson

  • Emma H.

    Absolute tosh I actually can't imagine worrying about those! I too concern more about how to fit in their homework ( which isn't much but I like to spread it out for them) and let them go out with their friends and watch some tv and eat dinner and bath all in one day!!!!! We only have 2 sessions of rugby , one night of Cubs and one does football once a week so its not a ridiculous amount of clubs eitger!!!!!!!!

  • Rosie G.

    Oh I don't know... Raising a well rounded child, teaching them right from wrong, taking the time to listen to them even when you're too busy to have a sip of water, ensuring respectful attitudes and making sure they're happy... Those are my stresses and worries!!!

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