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News Report Page 3 of 8
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Children in the North West Are Spending an Additional 4 Hours Per Day in Their Bedrooms Due to the Pandemic

RESEARCH has revealed the impact that spending more time indoors has had on children in the North West. 56% of parents in the region claim their children are spending more time in their bedroom than they did pre-COVID. On average, these children are spending an additional 4 hours in their rooms per day. 43% of parents whose children are spending more time in their rooms say they are spending 5 or more additional hours in there every day, suggesting that many children are spending almost the entire day in the same room.

The study, conducted amongst parents in the UK by leading name label and wall sticker manufacturer My Nametags, assessed how children are spending the additional time indoors and the impact it is having on the next generation. The impact is significant.
½ of parents in the North West whose children have been spending additional time in their rooms are concerned that their children have been negatively affected by this. Only 1 in 10 said the impact has been positive. This reflects the feelings of parents across the nation, with nearly 44% of UK parents expressing concern about the additional time their children are spending in their rooms.

Boredom is the most common by product of spending more time confined to their rooms, according to parents in the North West, with 46% saying their children are often at a loose end. However, parents referenced a wide range of negative side effects, demonstrating the true extent of the impact Lockdown is having on children's wellbeing. These include being less motivated (46%), experiencing loneliness (40%), and being more frustrated (31%). Many parents also cited that their children have decreased social skills, a shorter temper, are more easily distracted, and have less confidence than they did pre-Pandemic. The impact on children comes as no surprise, given that they are now using their bedrooms for all aspects of their lives. The study found that children are regularly using their rooms for Schoolwork (57%), socialising (43%), playing (43%), and even eating meals (29%).

Commenting on the findings, Parenting Expert Bea Marshall says:- "It is evident from this research, and other research that has been published over the last year, that the impact of the disruption to our children's lives due to Covid19 has been significant. Lockdowns and other restrictions have meant that whole families have had to completely rethink life together and that has meant a dramatic increase in time spent together in 1 place, largely indoors. Our children have been under significant pressure to adapt quickly to a new paradigm. During times of stress, bedrooms can be places of refuge, peace and comfort so it is natural that children would seek out their private space to avoid sibling conflict, overstimulation and to recharge their energy. For this reason, the increased time spent in their bedrooms should not automatically be a cause for concern for parents. The impact of Covid19 on our children's mental health is significant and is showing up in their behaviour and engagement. As we move towards fewer restrictions our children will have the opportunity to restore balance as they spend time with friends again, go back to their classrooms, and hopefully longer days and warmer weather will lead to more time outdoors."

Lars B Andersen, Managing Director, at MyNameTags.Com, concludes:- "At My Nametags, we speak to thousands of parents every day and know 1st hand just how hard the Pandemic has been on families across the UK. Whilst there is light at the end of the tunnel, current restrictions are continuing to limit our day to day lives, so we were interested to see how the additional time spent indoors is affecting our customers and their families. From being bored more often, through to having a shorter temper and losing confidence, it's clear from the findings that the current Lockdown measures are taking their toll on the younger generation. Whilst we don't have much control over the amount of time children are spending at home at the moment, we do have control over the environment, and simple changes can make a big difference in ensuring children's bedrooms are a positive space for them to spend time in. As bedrooms have never been so important, we've pulled together a list of easy tips to ensure that they remain a space that children can escape to and enjoy."

Top 5 tips for improving children's bedroom space:-

1. Create a dedicated workspace to separate homework, sleep and play. If possible, this workspace should be outside of the bedroom.

2. Ensure you are allowing plenty of natural light into the room - it's the world's natural mood booster.

3. Brighten up the space by using temporary wall stickers to add pops of colour in a quick and affordable way.

4. Declutter - a crowded, messy bedroom can be over stimulating and lead to disruptive sleep patterns. A tidy room will also feel brighter and airier.

5. Make a weekly plan to ensure you are regularly spending time outside of the home as a family - this might be a walk in the woods or a trip to the park.

Animal Farm voted the nation's favourite School book

GEORGE Orwell's political fable Animal Farm has been voted the nation's favourite ever School book, in new research commissioned ahead of International Children's Book Day 2021, that was on 2 April 2021.  The study, conducted by Oxford Home Schooling, asked 2,000 UK adults which books they most enjoyed reading when at School and Animal Farm was selected by a 25% of respondents. The novella was followed in the rankings by Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (21%) and John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men (19%). Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is the most popular School book written by a female Author (18%), placing 6th on the overall list.  Orwell and Dickens both appear twice in the top 10, as does William Shakespeare, showing his timeless appeal to all ages. Romeo and Juliet is the UK's favourite play by The Bard (19%), ahead of Macbeth (15%).

The UK's top 10 favourite School books are:-

1. Animal Farm (George Orwell)

2. A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)

3. Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)

4. 1984 (George Orwell)

5. Romeo and Juliet (William Shakespeare)

6. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

7. Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)

8. Macbeth (William Shakespeare)

9. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontė)

10. Lord of the Flies (William Golding)

The majority of the most popular books are from the 1900s, but 3 21st Century works made the top 40. John Boyne's haunting Holocaust novel, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, published in 2006, was the highest rated work from this millennium (30th), with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Mark Haddon - 2003) and Noughts and Crosses (Malorie Blackman - 2001) also featuring highly.

Men and women have significantly different tastes when it comes to books it seems, with their respective top 10 lists contrasting wildly. While Animal Farm is the favourite amongst men, A Christmas Carol tops the list for women, followed by Charlotte Brontė's gothic romance novel Jane Eyre.

The Brontė sisters are generally far more popular with female readers, with both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, younger sibling Emily's sole work, rated far higher by women. Despite both featuring in the top 6 for women, neither appear in the top 15 for men (Wuthering Heights - 18th, Jane Eyre - 23rd).

It appears that younger readers are also turning away from Jane Eyre, as it features in the top 10 for all age groups except 18 to 24 year olds. It is replaced by JB Priestley's crime thriller An Inspector Calls, with the classic 20th Century play ranking seventh for this latest generation. Of Mice and Men is the favourite among young Brits.

Greg Smith, Head of Operations at Oxford Home Schooling, said:- "The books we read at School can affect our general interest in reading in later life, so it's really important that people enjoy the novels given to them. Animal Farm is an incredibly powerful story and it's not surprising to see that people remember it fondly. It also topped our rankings when we ran this study 5 years ago, showing that its popularity is enduring. However, it's also interesting to see other works creep up towards the top of the lists. We'll have to see whether Orwell can complete a hat-trick in years to come, or whether a new favourite will emerge!"

For more information about the research and expert advice on how to get your child to read more, both in and out of School, visit:- OxfordHomeSchooling.Co.UK.

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