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General / Motherhood / Society

Parents Spend More on “Guilt Gifts” During Holiday Seasons, Survey Finds

Have you spent a lot on kids gifts this school holiday? You might be trying to compensate for the lack of family time, according to a survey by online marketplace Groupon.

Out of over 2,000 parents surveyed in the UK, 82 per cent expect to treat their children with “guilt gifts” of treats and activities to make up for minimal quality time. On average, the parents expect to spend £187.40 more a week per child than they normally would. Sweet treats, eating out and going to the movies are among the most popular expenses, along with new gadgets and video games.

Dads are slightly more likely to fork out cash to assuage their parental guilt, with 86 per cent of fathers willing to buy presents compared to 78 per cent of mothers.

Two out of five parents say other parents’ social media feed makes them feel pressured to provide the perfect holiday for the children, and three-quarters worry that the break will not live up to expectations.

“There is an immense amount of pressure for parents to keep their kids entertained during the summer and time is precious, so they have to make the most of the days they have with their children,” said Jon Wilson, managing director at Groupon.

These spoils, however, could also be seen as adding to parents’ guilt. The following are the top ten reasons parents feel guilty over the summer holidays:

  1. Staying in the house rather than getting out and about.
  2. Not being able to afford lots of day trips and activities.
  3. Letting the children spend hours in front of the TV or computer.
  4. Running out of options to keep the kids entertained.
  5. Not being able to afford to go on a holiday abroad.
  6. Feeling that their children’s friends are having a better time than they are.
  7. Saying no to requests for sweets, toys and trips out.
  8. Lack of routine.
  9. Late bedtimes.
  10. Not organising more educational and cultural events.


How are you spending the school holidays with your little ones?