Money, chores get us down… but the good news is that we get on well with our children

10 March 2017

Relate’s latest report Happy Families? finds that 41% of people with a child under 19 say money worries are a strain on their relationship, compared to 26% of those without a child under 19.

26% of parents with a child under 19 report household chores as a strain on their relationship, compared to just 16% of those with no child under 19.

Among parents of very young children, however, almost a third (32%) of parents of children aged 0-5 identified household chores as a relationship strain.

Happily, however. the report – which analyses a survey of more than 5,000 UK adults and is sponsored by family solicitors Simpson Millar – also finds that more than eight in 10 people (81%) report a good relationship between mums and children and 75% report a good relationship between dads and children.



But, relationships between step-parents and step-children aren’t as plain-sailing. For example, 61% of step-parents report good relationships with their step-children in contrast to the 91% who report good relationships with their own children.

Diane Whitmore, counsellor at Relate Bedfordshire and Luton, says that these pressures can become intensified during the Christmas period, contributing to a surge of people seeking relationship support in the New Year.

She says: “With the added financial burden of Christmas and the work that goes into preparing the home and tidying up afterwards, it’s no wonder that rows and tears during this period are common.

“These findings also indicate some of the challenges families can face following the breakdown of a relationship and blending families. Step-mums can feel pressure to be maternal and are more likely to face rejection from their step-children, and step-kids can find themselves caught between biological parents and new family members.

“Christmas can be a time when all these issues come to the surface. If you’re experiencing any difficulties, we’d urge you to contact Relate Bedfordshire and Luton at the earliest possible stage.”

Happy Families? is the second in a series of reports from a major piece of research by Relate and Relationships Scotland. More than 5,000 UK adults were surveyed as part of The Way We Are Now study, providing a unique window into the current state of the nation’s relationships. To read the report in full, visit

Relate Bedfordshire and Luton offers a range of relationship support services, including couple counselling and family counselling. You’re welcome to call our friendly appointments team on 01234 356350 to find out more.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)