Parents Spend £1.5bn to Compete with other Parents

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Competitive parents spend a combined £1.5 billion a year to keep up with other parents, new research shows.

According to new research by Aviva, 63 percent of UK parents of children under 18 years old say they regularly encounter competition from other mums and dads.

The types of things parents boast about ranges from breastfeeding, sporting talents to physical appearance.

One in four parents in the study also admits to splashing cash in order to compete effectively, with the average parent spending £463 per child each year.

“It’s only natural that proud parents want to share their children’s achievements from time to time, but there’s a worry that people are focusing on relatively trivial things, or even worse, wasting money in order to compete with others,” said Louise Colley, Aviva head of protection.

“It’s interesting to note that while most of us see competitiveness in others, few of us see it in ourselves,” added Allison Mitchell, Time Management for Manic Mums author.

Material goods are a prompt for debate between many parents, however, parenting style and their children’s success are areas that really bring out competitive streaks in mums and dads.

Walking and talking in babies are one of the hot topics parents enjoy showing off with, closely followed by academic achievements such as exam results and university acceptance.

The study also revealed mums are more competitive than dads on the whole, and parents in the East Midlands are the most competitive in the country. While those in Scotland came in second place with 74 percent admitting a competitive streak, three percent less than in the East Midlands.

Those in the South West of England were the least likely to be competitive with only 56 percent admitting so here.


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