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British Parents Amongst the Most Lenient in Europe

Max Bentley
Authored by Max Bentley
Posted: Sunday, April 2, 2023 - 07:00

New research reveals that the UK is one of the most lenient parenting nations in Europe. Over half (52 percent) of British parents agree they take a relaxed approach to raising their children by adopting only very few or inconsistent rules. This is a stark contrast to the Netherlands which ranks the strictest, with three fifths adopting a strict approach to rules.

The study shows that Brits take a laid-back approach to raising children in many aspects of day-to-day life. Almost half (42 percent) don’t expect their children to help with household chores and two in five don’t monitor where their children are when they spend time outside. By contrast, 80 percent of Portuguese parents expect their children to help around the house, whilst two-thirds of Irish parents pay close attention to their children’s whereabouts.

The research, which was commissioned amongst parents across Europe by leading name label manufacturer MyNametags.com also demonstrates that British parents are more likely to let their children stay up past their bedtime than their European counterparts.

Irish parents, on the other hand, tend to be more focused on teaching their children practical skills, such as cooking, with almost three quarters of Irish parents keen to pass on this skill compared to 65 percent of Brits.

Whilst Portuguese parents are amongst the strictest, they are the most likely to get hands on with their children by playing imaginative games, showing that clear rules don’t necessarily correlate with a cold approach to parenting.

The biggest influence on modern parents also differs across Europe. Portuguese parents are most likely to be affected by social media (56 percent), whereas Belgian parents say they are most influenced by other parents at their child’s school (48 percent). In comparison, British parents claim that what they didn’t like about their own upbringing (83 percent) has had the biggest impact on their parenting style.

Lars B Andersen, Managing Director at My Nametags, comments: “At My Nametags, we speak to parents across Europe every day. We were interested to find out how approaches to parenting differ across the continent to understand what extent culture impacts parents’ approaches.

“It’s interesting to see that, whilst parenting across Europe has changed throughout the generations, there are still stark differences in each nation’s approach. Rules are a big differentiator, with continental parents often much more likely to set clear and strict rules for their children than their British or Irish counterparts.”

Visit the My Nametags website to find out more about the differences between parenting styles across Europe.

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