New research has revealed that parents spend the equivalent of FOUR DAYS every year battling to get their children into the car – with toddlers causing the biggest delay.
As the Christmas break comes to an end, families will return to the regular routine of school runs and nursery drop-offs.
And a survey of 2,000 mums and dads has revealed almost one third (30 per cent) end up being late for work at least once a week because they’re getting their little ones ready.
The research found it typically takes 10 minutes to prepare a child for a journey – carrying out tasks such as getting their shoes and coat on.
Over the course of a year this amounts to a staggering 96 HOURS, or four whole days.
More than a quarter of parents admit they bribe their kids to speed the process up, with sweets and the promise of their favourite music being played topping the list of incentives.
Toddlers aged between two and three are the worst culprits when it comes to getting into the car quickly and easily, according to SEAT UK, with 47 per cent agreeing that the ‘terrible twos’ are the most difficult to marshal.
The job of getting children out of the house and into the car adds, on average, 20 minutes to the routine while one in 14 families reported it takes up to 40 minutes longer to start their morning journey since having kids.
The study found London children are the most likely to make their parents late for work, with 16 per cent of mums and dads in the capital reporting they are late every day because of the morning routine.
As a result, one in four London parents – more than anywhere else in the UK – dread the daily task of bundling their loved ones into the family vehicle.
At the other end of the scale, Scottish children appear to be better behaved when it comes to leaving the house, with 46 per cent of parents north of the border saying their offspring never make them late.
Among the most likely things to make leaving the house difficult include the task of getting children strapped into their seats in the car, last-minute toilet trips and struggling with the large amount of child-related paraphernalia which needs to be loaded into the car for each trip.
But the additional time spent is mostly taken up by children taking too long to put shoes and coats on before heading out.
SEAT carried out the research to highlight its seven-seat Tarraco SUV, which has been designed with families in mind.
“At SEAT we’ve included a raft of family-friendly elements to our Tarraco that means that we can make this a little bit easier,” said spokesman Rob Fryer.
“The hands-free boot opening makes access easy, while the seven seats can be configured quickly at the pull of a button.
“And with Apple CarPlay also available, it’s easy to keep the tots amused once in the vehicle.”