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Back To School: While Children Might Be Sad, Parents Are Glad

NEW YORK, Aug. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As the nation gears up for the start of the 2013-14 school year, DDB Worldwide, part of Omnicom Group (NYSE), has issued a new report using data from the DDB Life Style Study ® about parental attitudes in the US regarding the back-to-school season, homework and the length of time their kids are in school. 

While 83% of parents with children ages 6 to 17 are glad to have their kids around during the summer, the majority, 76%, are also happy to get their households back to a fixed schedule and routine when back-to-school time rolls around.  Only 24% of parents with school age children admit that they are as bummed as the kids are when school starts again, and these feelings are fuelled by the challenges of juggling schedules, something that most parents can appreciate.

The survey also reveals interesting attitudes about the length of time children are in school.  Only 44% of parents with school age kids would want their children to attend school for more hours each day and similarly, only 47% would want their kids to attend school for more months of the year. When asked if they would trade homework for a longer school day, only 51% of parents would want that.

There are interesting and significant gender differences that surface when looking at the amount of time children spend at school. Only 37% of moms, vs. 51% of dads, would advocate for a longer school day. If it were an option for their children to stay in school for more months of the year, only 42% of moms, vs. 52% of dads, would want that. 

"Moms appear to have a greater appreciation and understanding of how stressful school can be for their kids. This might be in part attributable to the fact that they are more likely to be the ones who first hear the responses their children offer to the question, 'how was school today?'" says Denise Delahorne, SVP, Group Strategy Director, of DDB US. 

For all the hype about the amount of homework that children are given these days, 70% of parents think it is the right amount, while 17% believe it's too much, and only 13% believe it is not enough.  So while the nation's children might be moaning about having to spend their days in the classroom again, and evenings doing their homework, it turns out that while their parents might be sympathetic, deep down, they are probably smiling.

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