Families are spending little over half an hour quality time together during the week because of the demands of modern life. A new survey says that parents and children have less than eight hours together in total each week. Weekends are best with an average of two hours and twenty minutes on both Saturdays and Sundays given over to family time.
But during the week the amount of time shrinks to just 36 minutes on average each day as families juggle work, chores, school routines and evening clubs. And even when families do get together seven in ten parents say the time is spent in silence in front of the TV because they are busy reading, playing computer games or simply too tired to talk.
The poll of 2,000 parents also found that grandparents miss out on time with their children and grandchildren with the average family visiting grandparents six times a year. Some mums and dads are so anxious about the lack of time their parents spend with their grandchildren that 65 per cent have, or are considering, arranging a holiday with them.
Over half admitted the only ‘real’ time they get to spend together is when they go on holiday away from the distractions at home.
Fifty six per cent said they have booked a holiday for no other reason than to enjoy some real time with their family without the demands of everyday life.
The survey said: ‘Families are busier than ever. ‘Parents are working, children are at school and the evening and weekends are taken up with a host of clubs, sports and play dates with friends. ‘But this means that many families struggle with really getting to spend some time together and just enjoy each other’s company for a while.
‘And grandparents fare even worse as they seem to be a long way down the list of priorities when it comes to squeezing in the visits during the busy weekends. ‘Instead of getting to enjoy their grandchildren growing up, many have to make do with quick visits on special occasions or snatched moments in between weekend activities. ‘From the point of view of the youngsters, while our research found 17 per cent said their children were at an age when they didn’t want to spend time with their parents, we believe that a holiday is the perfect time to do this if they choose a location which can cater to everyone’s needs.’
They added: ‘The pace of modern life can too often mean that multiple generations of families spending time together is the exception, rather than the rule. ‘And when it does happen it’s often an ‘occasion’ requiring everyone to behave in a certain way.
‘With the summer holidays looming though, we’d urge families to see it as a time to re-establish bonds and create some really precious memories.’