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Challenges faced by families in lockdown revealed by Barnardos

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A new survey from children's charity Barnardo's has laid out the full impact the Covid-19 lockdown is having on family life. (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A new survey from children's charity Barnardo's has laid out the full impact the Covid-19 lockdown is having on family life. (Gareth Fuller/PA)

PA

A new survey from children's charity Barnardo's has laid out the full impact the Covid-19 lockdown is having on family life. (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A new survey from children's charity Barnardo's has laid out the full impact the Covid-19 lockdown is having on family life.

It was revealed that 84% of families said their children are losing out on their daily contact with their friends, with 68% also missing the school environment.

The survey takes a close look at the challenges that families have faced during the restrictions.

More than half said they are struggling to maintain a healthy bedtime routine, and over a third said that the number of tantrums and outbursts from children has risen.

The findings also show that those parenting alone and those with children under the age of 10 are feeling the most pressure.

One in three parents reported they were getting less sleep than normal and taking less exercise despite having more time on their hands.

Half of parents revealed that worrying about the health of family members is contributing to the added stress of the situation they find themselves living in.

Barnardo's is now calling on the Government to strongly consider the needs of children and parents during the phased easing of restrictions.

"Perhaps unsurprisingly, this survey highlighted the challenges faced by families during the Covid-19 restrictions," said CEO of Barnardo's in Ireland Suzanne Connolly.

"Parents report that the majority of children miss their friends and school and that children are having more difficulty at bedtime, with many experiencing more tantrums and outbursts.

"For one in three lone parents and those with younger children, the restrictions are having a more negative impact, both on the parent and the child.

"The lack of childcare support is a huge contributor to this stress and hundreds reported that trying to balance parenting and working at home added a lot of pressure to the household.

"It's resulting in a lot more work for mothers with everyone at home, trying to keep the peace and accommodate everyone's needs."

Other findings showed that children are more concerned about family members contracting Covid-19 than they were about themselves contracting the virus (27% compared to 16%).

Almost a third (31%) of parents with children aged up to five reported the lack of childcare support was causing stress in the home.

But not all families are finding things difficult, with almost half saying they are enjoying the opportunity to reconnect with friends and family, while over a third had been able to meet neighbours more often.

And 49% said they were enjoying social media apps like zoom, FaceTime and WhatsApp to stay in touch, though 64% said it wasn't the same as physical contact.

Belfast Telegraph