Mums go back to school with ‘new school year’ resolutions

03 September 2012

Under-pressure mums have confessed to telling porkies at the school gate to give other parents the impression they are more organised than they really are.

Almost two thirds (60%) of mums with primary schoolchildren see the new school term as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf by getting super organised, but a failure to keep “New School Year” resolutions makes 45% of them feel like bad parents, with two in five (43%) viewing other parents as “better than them”.  This guilty complex leads 43% of mums to pretend they are more organised than they are.

In a survey of 1,850 mums with young schoolchildren, by The Co-operative Food, getting the kids up and dressed is the most stressful part of the school routine.  Three in five (59%) mums vow to make their children and themselves healthier at the start of term, promising to walk the kids to school and prepare healthier lunch boxes and evening meals.

But, despite their best efforts, these New School Year resolutions don’t last long, with over half of mums (53%) reverting to their old ways in less than three weeks, and almost one in 10 (8%) admitting their good intentions fall by the wayside in the first week, lasting an average of just three days. 

Janet Taylor, Diet and Health Manager, The Co-operative Food said: “The new academic year is the perfect opportunity to kick start a new, healthier routine for you and your family.  It seems being prepared and getting clothes and lunch boxes ready in advance is the key to a stress-free morning.

“Our survey shows that mums are keen to do what they can to improve their child’s diet, and are actively trying to make meals healthier.  Just  by adding a handful of strawberries and a tub of cherry tomatoes or carrot sticks to a lunch box, you’ve already provided two of your child’s ‘five a day’, helping to make sure they get essential vitamins and minerals.”

The pressure of the work-life balance is apparent, with 56% of mums feeling they weren’t concentrating enough on their children because of working, and 54% saying they felt they weren’t giving their child enough quality time. 

Over a quarter of mums (26%) said they were going to use the start of the new term time as an opportunity to chat to their child more about their day.

Judy Reith, parenting expert and author of “Be a Great Mum”, said: “Parenting is a tough job and it’s important parents don’t let guilt rule. Instead, focus on the simple things you can do to help your child be healthy and happy. 

“As a parent, there are lots of ways you can spend time with your child that really make a difference.  Setting aside just 10 minutes a day to help with your child’s reading will not only improve their reading skills, but will also strengthen your relationship as you spend one-to-one, quality time together.”

Although 29% of mums said they were dreading the start of the new term, 58% admitted they were secretly looking forward to their child being back at school after the long summer holiday.

Top 10 ‘New School Term’ resolutions

  • Wash and iron everything at the weekends so it's ready for the week
  • Get school bags packed for the next day with my child before bedtime
  • Prepare packed lunches the night before
  • Make sure homework is completed before evening meal
  • Laying out school uniforms the night before
  • Make sure my child gets to bed at a reasonable hour
  • Doing reading and spellings straight after school and not leaving until the last minute
  • Establish a “getting ready” routine in the morning
  • Make sure my child eats breakfast before going to school
  • Chat to my child more about their day

Additional Information:

The survey of 1,850 mums of children attending primary school was conducted by OnePoll from 24 – 29 August 2012.