Pushy parents on the rise across the UK

12th February 2015

British parents are coercing their children into taking part in certain extracurricular activities in a bid to improve their education and career prospects.

New research from comparison site, Confused.com reveals that almost one in 10 of parents, or 9%, would class themselves as a ‘pushy parent’, with one in eight, at 12%, admitting that they like to have complete control over what their children do – from their after school activities to their chosen career path.

The findings reveal that more than two thirds of parents have children who are involved in extracurricular activities. These activities range from the more traditional, such as swimming and gymnastics to the more specialist – such as computer classes.

And many parents are planning for the long-term when it comes to choosing their offspring’s extracurricular activities. One in 10 said they send their children to certain activity groups to increase their chances of getting into University, with a similar number admitting that they send their child to after-school activities to improve their chances of getting a career in a certain field.

But more than half, at 53%, of parents said they send their children into activities outside of school hours to help them learn skills, with 39% saying they just want the best for their children. Over a third said they sign their children up for extracurricular activities to nurture a talent they already have.

The analysis found that many parents are living vicariously through their children, as more than one in 20 admitted that their offspring takes part in certain extra-curricular activities to follow a dream they had when they were younger. In fact, 12% admit they decided the extracurricular activity that their child takes part in.

Enrolling children in multiple extracurricular activities, for whatever reason, comes at a price for parents. According to the findings, nearly a third of parents are cutting back on other areas in order to give their child what they believe is the best start in life. Paying for classes, training, kits and equipment doesn’t come cheap and it’s not surprising to find that 8% are spending a whopping £200 plus per month to fund their children’s extracurricular activities.

Matt Lloyd, head of life insurance at Confused.com, said: “Whilst some parents admit to being pushy, the research would suggest the majority of parents are actually giving their children a helpful nudge in the right direction.”

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