Parents face a bill of more than £1,260 keeping their teens amused during the summer holidays, a study has found.
Researchers discovered taking children on day trips, buying video games and magazines, and the extra cost of childcare will set mum and dad back £502 over the six -week break.
And they’ll shell out more than £335 per child just on food and drinks, including meals out, lunches during trips, as well as snacks and treats.
The average summer holiday, either in the UK or abroad, will set families back a further £422.61 per teen.
More than four in 10 parents admitted being ‘worried’ about affording a summer’s worth of entertainment for their family.
It also emerged nearly a quarter of a parent’s income goes on entertaining their teen over the long summer holiday, in a survey of 1,000 parents of teens aged 16-17 who are in education.
Chris Brown, director of sales programme recruitment at National Citizen Service (NCS) – a three to four week summer programme which helps 16-17-year-olds gain confidence, build life skills and become more active citizens in their communities, said: “Our research has highlighted an issue for many parents across the country who are unsurprisingly worried about the cost of the summer holidays.
“With the long break fast approaching, parents want to ensure that their teens are spending their time productively, without breaking the bank.”
The study also found the phrase parents fear most – “I’m bored” – is likely to be first uttered just eight days into the holidays – with fifteen per cent of parents hearing it after three days or earlier.
This is despite kids being treated to special, yet expensive, day trips nearly nine times each over this summer’s six-week school vacation.
Panicked mums and dads also admit to running out of ways to keep their child entertained only two-thirds of the way through the summer holidays.
And it’s felt by the teens too, with four in 10 teenagers admitting they get bored over the school break.
Another six in 10 admitted they want their summer holiday to be ‘productive’, while more than half also wished there was ‘more to do’ over the summer holidays.
The research also revealed it takes less than three weeks for parents to hit breaking- point and wish their teens would hurry up and go back to school.
One in ten parents admitted they don’t know how to advise their teen to make the most of the summer holidays.
Three in 10 worry their child will waste hours on social media and 29 per cent don’t think they will get enough fresh air.
Half of the parents polled also admitted being concerned that their child will ‘waste’ the entire summer, according to the OnePoll research.
Ellie Smith, mother of NCS participant Bradley Smith, 17, said: “Like many of the parents surveyed, I always wanted to make sure that Bradley was spending his school holiday productively.
“I can definitely relate to the 40 per cent who admitted to being ‘worried’ about affording a summer’s worth of entertainment.
“We didn’t have the money to send Bradley on a big residential trip or pay for lots of small activities so when the opportunity to go on NCS came up, it was ideal.”
Ellie, 38, of Bradford, West Yorkshire added: “NCS is a fantastic and financially feasible way for parents to ensure that their children have a fun, productive summer without having to spend hundreds of pounds.
“I’ve seen a huge change in Bradley since his time on the programme – it was life changing for both of us.”
Chris Brown added: “With summer holidays set to cost parents over £1,000, programmes such as NCS can help them not only save money, but also ensure their teens are spending the summer building skills that can help them in the future.”
Places are still available for 16-17 year olds to take part in NCS. To find out more go to ncsyes.co.uk.