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Back-to-School Chaos: Overwhelmed Parents And Teachers Struggle With Morning Routines

Survey reveals challenges faced by parents and teachers during the hectic back-to-school season.
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 What’s the first thing you think about when waking up in the morning? For a third of parents, it’s this: “I have so much to do today.” 

During the back-to-school season, both parents and teachers most commonly feel overwhelmed (26% and 25%) over any other emotion.

Teachers and parents struggle to adjust to varying schedules, including after school activities, class and even work (65% for teachers; 59% for parents), as well as not getting as much sleep (55% and 48%, respectively) and new meal times (46% and 47%, respectively).

It all starts with the morning routine, with the average parent waking at 6:10 a.m. and spending about 64 minutes on tasks such as making breakfast (49%), taking a shower (42%), giving their kids a bath (39%), eating breakfast (30%) and packing school lunches (25%).

In fact, parents are so overwhelmed that many admit to making a few morning routine mistakes. Those include forgetting to pack a lunch (50%), oversleeping (50%) and forgetting to eat breakfast (49%).

Teachers also encounter similar mistakes with their children, including forgetting to eat breakfast (57%), forgetting to pack a lunch (57%) and oversleeping (56%).

That’s according to a recent survey of 1,500 parents of school-aged kids and 500 teachers – 97% of whom are parents of school-aged children themselves, and more than one-third (35%) of whom have the same first thought when they wake up. PHOTO BY RDNE STOCK PROJECT/PEXELS

Meanwhile, teachers who typically arrive home around 4:30 p.m. tend to prioritize spending time with their family (61%), followed by other tasks like tidying up the house (55%) and eating dinner (54%).

When all that is said and done, parents are left with just one hour and 16 minutes to themselves, with one in five (21%) only getting an hour or less.

The survey also dove deeper into how the chaotic back-to-school season specifically impacts mealtime.

In the summer, the average child eats about five snacks per day, according to parents. But that number drops to about four times during the back-to-school season.

Almost half (48%) of parents admit they worry about whether or not their child is eating enough during the school day.

But kids aren’t the only ones who see an impact on their eating habits. When an especially busy day during the back-to-school season strikes, the first things parents cut are sleep (50%), meals (45%) and “me time” (39%).

The same is true for teachers — though they are equally likely to cut sleep and meals (both 50%). 

This reduction in snacks and meals means more than just grumbly stomachs, as both parents and teachers believe they are less productive when they are hungry (42% and 43%).

“Skipping sleep and meals can impact your health in a variety of ways, even though it may not always be easy to find the time,” Cohn continued. “Prioritizing foods that are convenient with whole grains and real ingredients is one simple way to boost your energy and keep you fueled to tackle whatever the day has in store.”



Produced in association with SWNS Research

(Additional reporting provided by Talker Research)

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