• Half of UK parents only laugh once a day or less with their children
• 28% of parents say they find it stressful keeping their children entertained
• Two thirds (66%) of parents believe that laughter relieves stress
• Expert psychologist encourages parents to laugh more with their children as shopping centre owner launches ‘laughter parties’ for families over Easter
We all know that laughter is the ‘best medicine’ and now new research shows that many parents believe laughing with their children could be the perfect way to relieve stress.
While 28% of parents find the prospect of keeping their kids entertained stressful, 7 in 10 (69%) parents of 0-16 year olds think their children make them laugh the most. And with two thirds (66%) of parents believing that laughter relieves stress, two weeks with the kids over the Easter half term could prove to be great laughter therapy.
The research carried out by intu, owners of some of the largest and most popular shopping centres across the UK, reveals that of the 2,000 UK parents surveyed, half laugh just once a day or less with their children.
Psychologist Emma Kenny, who analysed the research findings, said: “The wonderful thing about young children is their ability to experience the here and now, which enables them to react to life moment by moment. Adults are often struggling with their work life balance, or focussing on things they need to do next, whichimpacts on their time and the opportunity to have fun and laugh at life. It's so essential for adults to laugh with children and each other as it unites, inspires and reminds us of how wonderful it is to be human.
“With millions of us taking time off this Easter to spend more time with our children, it is a brilliant time to focus on all the joy and laughter being a parent can bring us. Plan ahead by finding those opportunities to laugh and spend quality time together as a family, so that they can become part of your daily routine.”
Trevor Pereira, commercial and digital director of intu, said: “This research highlights the difference that intubrings to its shopping centres, with compelling, fun experiences and moments of surprise, delight and laughter. Our aim is to put a smile on the face of our customers as we want them to be happier when they leave our centres than when they walked through the door. So with millions of families expected at ourcentres this Easter,
we’ve created an exciting programme of activities inpartnership with Nickelodeon for parents and children to laugh along together with SpongeBob SquarePants.”
84% of parents polled think laughter is contagious. There are some well-known personalities that have a laugh that is quite infectious. From our survey the celebrity voted as having the best signature laugh by respondents was comedian and TV host Jimmy Carr (16%). This was followed by presenter Alan Carr (8%) and in joint third place with 6% was Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants, comedian Ricky Gervais, chart topper Adele and television host James Corden.
Visitors to intu shopping centres will be able to dive into SpongeBob SquarePants’ world of Bikini Bottom to join the ultimate sea bed laughter party, packed with interactive fun and games including the Giggle Groove silent disco, Snail Slalom racing, Laughter Limbo and much more! Activities are free, with no booking required and are open to all ages, but are particularly suitable for children in pre-school and early years.
To find your nearest intu centre, details of what’s on and opening hours visit www.intu.co.uk/spongebob