Families' 38 minutes of quality time together each weekday

Modern technology eats into the amount of 'quality' time families spend togetherModern technology eats into the amount of 'quality' time families spend together
Modern technology eats into the amount of 'quality' time families spend together
Modern families enjoy just 38 MINUTES of quality time together on the average weekday, a study has found.

Work, school and a packed timetable of clubs and activities means parents and children have little time left to catch up, talk, play or simply interact as a family on a week day.

Parents face constant competition from technology, with nine in ten admitting the little time they do spend with the children sees one - or all of them - distracted by the TV, computer games, mobile phones or tablets.

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Almost a third of 2,000 parents polled by Hollywood Bowl even blame their family’s reliance on technology as a reason for the lack of quality time they get to spend together.

And more than three in ten say their kids would rather play computer games than have a family conversation or take part in a family activity.

However, many recognise this is a problem, with 83 per cent claiming they want to make more of an effort to spend quality time together as a family.

Liz Penney, spokesperson for Hollywood Bowl, said: “Getting time together as a family is difficult, it’s a shame to see just how little quality time parents and their children are spending together, without the distractions of day-to-day life interfering.

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“A worrying trend to emerge is the influence our heavy reliance on electronic devices is having on the lack of quality time we spend with our loved ones, as even when we are all at home together, chances are, much of that time will be spent with children and parents staring at a screen.

“It’s important to ensure we spend time interacting with loved ones and have some time away from the technology that dominates modern life.”

“Whether that means getting out of the house and enjoying an activity together, or really interacting with one another at home, children grow up fast, so it is important that we make more time to engage in fun activity together and not just interact with screens.

The ‘Hollywood Bowl Family Fun’ report was designed to understand how much time the British family actually spends interacting together as well as reveal the significance parents place on these moments.

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The study of found that while we can expect to enjoy 38 minutes of quality time on a weekday, things don’t really improve at the weekend with it rising to just three hours and 10 minutes of quality time on each day.

Household chores were named as the biggest barrier to spending time together as a family, accounting for more than 11 hours of our time each week, along with long working hours.

A further hour of each week is taken up with parents ferrying their children to after school activities and clubs.

By the time families all get home together and have eaten an evening meal, it’s time for children to go to bed.

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As a result, almost three quarters feel school breaks and family holidays are the only real time they get to spend together, while 86 per cent admit there can be weekends where chores, work and their children’s activities make it feel like they have spent no real time together at all.

It also emerged more than two in five parents worry they don’t spend enough quality time with their children.

Many are trying to change this though, with more than half of parents trying to set aside more time to spend with their children.

Eating out at restaurants together is the most popular choice of activity, followed by going for a walk in the countryside, playing board games and going to the park.

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Other popular things to do as a family include going bowling, visiting a theme park and baking.

Liz Penney added: “At Hollywood Bowl, we are constantly looking to improve the family entertainment experience we offer our customers.

“The Family Fun Report allows us to understand in more detail what the time starved UK family really wants from their time together.

“A staggering 93 per cent of respondents wish they could spend more quality time with their families and we offer a great place in which to do so as bowling appeals to all ages and levels of ability.

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“It’s a great fun, interactive game that encourages healthy competition and high levels of interaction amongst family and friends.”

Top ten barriers to having quality time with a family

1. Household chores

2. Long, anti social working hours

3. Children’s homework

4. Children’s extra-curricular activities

5. Everyone in the family is too busy on their phone/tablet or computer

6. School timetables

7. The children would rather play their computer games

8. The children would rather watch TV

9. Anti-social working hours

10. The children would rather go out to their friend’s house