Did your little darlings wreak havoc on their bedrooms and around the house over the half-term break? You’re not alone, according to a home improvements firm that’s been looking into the cost of clearing up after boisterous children – the average parent reckons that they’ve spent thousands of pounds repairing their offspring’s accidental damage.
The recently published survey asked 1008 UK parents and revealed that British parents spend a quite frankly shocking average of £3,466.04 on putting right damage their kids have caused to the furniture, furnishings and the home due to accidents and spills. Whoops!
Go outside and play!
We used to hear it from our parents as we were growing up – and getting kids outside in the fresh air to work off some of that unbridled energy could be one way to stop them marauding through the living room and causing terminal damage to your home furnishings.
Of course, damage to your home isn’t the only thing that could result from cooping kids up indoors; according to a 2015 report from the New York Times, New York City public schools saw a 30 per cent increase in referrals to occupational therapy over a period of four years, and more children being diagnosed with underdeveloped vestibular (balance) systems because a lack of active and outdoor play was causing decreased body awareness and affecting their sense of space.
Teachers in the US also said that they had noticed children falling out of their seats in school, accidentally bumping into each another, and being clumsier than they had been in past years. The awkward truth is that while we think we are doing our children a favour by keeping them safe indoors, we could actually be making them LESS safe.
Natural energy can lead to oops moments
When the kids are playing indoors there’s naturally going to be less room for them to get energetic – that’s probably why 72 per cent of damage is caused to furniture, including sofas, chairs, beds and tables – jumping on beds and sofas is a common childhood temptation (I know, we all did it…) Ornaments, mirrors and pictures are also likely to come a cropper as gadgets and home technology.
Andrew Nesbitt, marketing manager at DiscountFlooringDepot.co.uk (who carried out the survey) said:
“The typical costs that we usually associate with having children include childcare, clothing, toys and essentials can be eye watering. Potential damage to the home as little ones find their feet and way in the world isn’t something many will often think of.
“I do think £3,466.04 could be a daunting figure to take in but looking at the bigger picture this figure many aspects of décor, furniture and furnishings in the home will eventually be replaced or upgraded anyway, and most parents seem to understand that for kids these kinds of thrills and spills are just part of growing up.”
Despite the costs, 92 per cent of parents weren’t too upset at the cost of putting right the accidental ‘oops’ moments caused by the children – said they felt it was ‘all part of the fun of parenting.’
We have to agree – but if you want to avoid spills, breaks and unexpected repairs, it might be wise to get the children outside to play as the weather improves…