6 September 2018


  • New research finds that parents are fighting back against ‘competitive parenting’ - tracking your child’s progress against others
  • 92 per cent of British parents believe that children should be encouraged to develop at their own rate, with one in three calling for more milestones to be focussed on tracking the development of children’s imagination and play skills
  • One in ten parents said the pressure to ensure their child was meeting expected milestones is more stressful than moving house, with one in five regularly comparing their kids to friends’ via social media
  • LEGO® DUPLO® is encouraging parents to make their own child’s milestones in 2018, and celebrate the moments that matter to them and their children
  • The brand’s new Make Your Own Milestones campaign, backed by parenting expert Dr Ellie Cannon, encourages flexible parenting and champions creativity and imagination
  • Understanding the importance of play in a child’s development, the LEGO group’s new Play Well report found 84% of parents agree that construction toys, such as LEGO DUPLO, help children develop lifelong skills with 94% also admitting it stimulates creativity and imagination

New research by LEGO DUPLO has found that, despite one in five British parents (20 per cent) comparing their children to their friends’ little ones via Facebook and Instagram at least once a week, a huge 92 per cent of parents also believe children should be encouraged to develop at their own rate. 87 per cent of parents agreed that the most important thing that should be celebrated is a child’s own individuality.

71 per cent of parents believed that every milestone a child meets, however small, should be celebrated as they grow – with over half (57 per cent) disagreeing with the idea that only ’recognised’ developmental milestones should be celebrated.

Almost one in ten parents (eight per cent) say the pressure to ensure their child was meeting ‘expected milestones’ caused them more stress than moving house – whilst a similar total (10 per cent) said they feel like a failure as a parent if their child doesn’t reach a milestone within the expected timeframe. One in three parents (32 per cent) also believed that current developmental milestones should include more measures to track the growth of children’s imaginations.

A child’s imagination helps to carve out their individuality from a young age and is one of the most important tools in aiding a child’s development. 75 per cent of British parents agreed that role play is of key importance in a child’s development, with 40 per cent saying they believe imagination and creativity are the most important factors in aiding development for children between 18 months and four years of age.

In partnership with parenting expert Dr Ellie Cannon, LEGO DUPLO is encouraging Mums & Dads in 2018 to do away with ‘competitive parenting’ and celebrate their kids’ growth through personalised goals that suit them – as part of their Make Your Own Milestones campaign, celebrating kids across the UK as the individuals they are.

With 82 per cent of British parents openly admitting that they compare their child’s development against their peers, Dr Ellie Cannon said, ”One of the most incredible things about children is their individuality, and the progress they make each and every day when they are growing.

”There are a set of widely accepted developmental goals that allow parents to track their children’s progress, but these should be treated as a guide and are by no means the only thing we should be celebrating or judging our children on as they develop. The competition and pressure parents put on themselves does not help their child’s development, but will actually contribute to stress and anxiety in both the children and the parents.”

Marius Lang, Head of Marketing UK & Ireland at LEGO DUPLO commented: ”All children develop at different rates and no matter how small, every milestone a child meets should be celebrated with their parents in order to encourage further development. Building with construction toys such as LEGO DUPLO has proven to build imagination and creativity amongst young children and this, in turn, allows them to help reach milestones and build their identity at their own pace.”

Parents in London are the most concerned with checking on their child’s progress – averaging a total of 108 minutes (or 1 hour, 48 minutes) per week worrying about milestones – compared to parents in the East of England who averaged just 32 minutes per week.

Dads are likely to spend more time checking their child’s progress (averaging 67 minutes per week) than Mums (55 minutes), whilst first-time parents spend longer checking on milestones each week (62 minutes compared to 55 minutes for parents who have more than one child).

As part of the Make Your Own Milestones campaign, LEGO DUPLO has created The Other Red Book; a physical & digital tool that encourages parents to set and share personalised goals for their children, with tips and activities to aid development, from birth and beyond, with tools such as LEGO DUPLO.

This month, LEGO Group released its new ‘Play Well Report’, surveying nearly 13,000 parents and children in nine countries to understand the state of play today and encourage discussion around its ongoing importance.

The report reveals a strong link between the hours spent playing together and the happiness of families, with nine out of 10 families (88%) who play for five hours or more a week claiming to be happy.

The findings also highlighted the importance of play in child development. Experts agree on the need for a wide repertoire of play styles to help children develop, however parents also concluded that construction toys such as LEGO bricks help children develop life skills (74%), help children learn new things (91%) and stimulate imagination (94%).

The full LEGO Play Well Report 2018, including market findings, can be viewed here.

The Other Red Book, a physical and digital tool, encourages parents to set and share personalised goals that suit their little ones, with tips and activities to aid development from birth and beyond – you can download a copy of it here.


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