Parents missing out on family time

The average family manages just 36 minutes of quality time together a day, according to new research.

The study, commissioned by IKEA, found that hectic work schedules and the sheer volume of domestic chores leave little time for family fun.

Researchers also found that a typical family will find time for just 15 days out together every year.

It also emerged that nearly half of the 2,000 adults polled feel the balance of work and play is skewed in favour of their job.

Christmas Day, the occasional Sunday together and days spent in the garden during the summer were hailed as times when families get to spend quality time together.

Visiting the grandparents and reading to the children at night also gave everyone a chance to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

The study found working long or anti-social hours was the most common hurdle to family time, while evenings and weekends dominated by household chores and frantic routines were common.

That leads to just over half an hour a day that families get to be with one another without regular distraction.

Some eight in 10 parents also say they often battle with the TV or videogames to get the kids’ attention.

Despite the majority of families having good intentions to organise things for the family to do as a whole at weekends, plans fall through a quarter of the time due to things getting in the way, the results showed.

Some 55% of families say they suffer from a hectic domestic life while more than 70% admitted there are regular instances when the whole family sits in front of the television in silence because they’re too tired for conversation.

Nearly three quarters of mums and dads felt their children were growing up too fast, yet six in 10 said their weekly routine doesn’t leave them enough time to enjoy their kids at the age they are.

In fact, nearly a third have missed key moments in their child’s development because of their hectic routine keeping them away.

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