Grumpy Dads In The South East

What do the stars of The X Factor, the neighbour’s cat, EastEnders and unexpected callers have in common?

No, they’re not guests at the strangest party you’ve ever been to, they’re among the top 50 things which make the South East’s dads grumpy, according to a new survey.

Lights left on in empty rooms, heating on too high, drum and bass music and being treated like a taxi service also featured on the chart of cantankerousness.

More than a quarter of dads in the South East admit they are ALWAYS cranky while another 75 per cent reckon they are becoming more so as they get older.

And it is not the privilege of old men – as dads are at their most grumpy at the age of 40.

Pollyanna Haigh from Merlin Annual Pass, who commissioned the research, said “From our experience, Dad’s will openly admit they have a reputation for being the grumpy ones of the family, and we wanted to see if this really was the case; and the survey suggests it is!

“As we all know, everyone has grumbles from time to time – perhaps dads are just not as good at hiding their moans as others.

“However, children grow up so fast, so it’s important for families to maximise the fun times together before they grow up and become parents themselves.”

The poll* of fathers in the South East found people leaving the lights on is most likely to make them grumble, followed by traffic jams, bad drivers, general bad manners and the kids arguing.

Being treated like an ATM, their football team losing, the kids not helping with chores, having the heating on too high and the kids not saying please or thank you.

The biggest general reasons for grumpiness are work, while money and household chores and jobs can also cause dads to have a moan.

But these grumbles aren’t a rare occurrence with the average dad admitting to around nine a week – more than once a day.

Luckily for families though, 63 per cent reckon they are at the most grumpy during the working week, coming out of their mood in time for the weekend.

More than half of dads also believe a good night’s sleep is often all it takes to bring an end to their grumpiness with another 30 per cent saying food helps.

A family day out, a nice gesture from a partner or children and a cold beer or lager can also improve their mood.

It also emerged three quarters of dads believe they need to make more effort to be less grumpy, with 70 per cent saying time with their family and fun days out would result in a less grumpy dad.

And if you want to catch dad at his most awesome, on holiday is the best time, followed by the evenings and weekends, and when playing with the children.

Pollyanna added: “We commissioned this research after hearing from our attraction guests that their families behave so differently when on a family day out – they are carefree and relaxed, no sight of grumpiness!

“Everyone has times where life takes over and can cause grumpiness and the survey is proof of that. To help those mums and dads out there have a year of fun with their family, our January sale has started where you can purchase the Merlin Annual Pass from just £99 each, which gives its holders entrance to 32 attractions across the country.

“Our pass makes organising days out so simple and it provides real value for money. It takes the worry out of the cost and planning associated with a family day trip and it means you can say goodbye to grumpy and hello to just being seen as an awesome parent!”

Polly has almost 20 years in the media industry. As Editor of Andover and Villages, she strives to bring the latest and greatest news with a minutes notice. Polly can be contacted via or alternatively called at