A third of children have asked their parents to work less

Emma Haslett
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If you'd spent a bit more time with him, perhaps his handwriting would be better... (Source: Getty)

Get those familiar pangs of guilt when you leave the little darlings at nursery in the morning? Here's something to make you feel even worse: a third of parents have been asked by "at least one" of their children to work less, according to new research.

Read more: Tories to double free childcare

The study, by jobs site CareerBuilder.co.uk, showed 42 per cent of men and 35 per cent of women felt their work has "negatively affected" their relationships with their children.

Some 38 per cent said they spend less than two hours a day with their children, while 47 per cent of working mums - and 39 per cent of working dads - said they'd gladly take a pay cut if it meant they could spend more time with their offspring.

Former Pimco chief executive Mohamed El-Erian may be the highest-profile casualty of "pester power". 

Having quit his job running the bond giant last January, in September he said in an interview his decision was thanks to his daughter, then 10, who presented him with a list of 22 major events in her life he had missed. 

El-Erian has since joined insurer Allianz as economic adviser.

He said he spents 50 per cent of his time at the company, "and I love it". So, presumably, does his daughter...

And it looks like the role of the working father might be changing: although 52 per cent of fathers are still the sole financial provider for their family, 37 per cent of mums are now the breadwinners.

That said, men seem more optimistic about "having it all" - 65 per cent of men reckon they can be successful in their career and at parenting, while women are more realistic, with 58 believing they can do both.

"Maintaining a healthy balance between the two can still be a struggle," said Scott Healmes, CareerBuilder's managing director.

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