While the summer holidays are in full swing, research out today has revealed that British families are struggling to make time for each other. A huge 87% of parents wished they could spend more time with their children while parents say that less than half (45%) of the time they spend with their child is true, quality time.
According to the study from premium children’s brand, Stokke, one in four (23%) parents say that their child complains “all of the time” that they can’t spend enough time together. Overall, nearly two thirds (60%) of children wish they could spend more time with their parents – with the main culprits for having their time stolen away being work, chores and lack of money to do things.
The survey also asked parents how they felt about their own upbringing and if the time they spent with their parents had an impact on them later in life. There was a huge difference in responses with 81% of those asked saying they spent plenty of quality time with their parents growing up. And of the 2,000 people asked, 78% said that spending quality time with their parents gave them confidence in later life.
Stine Brogaard from Stokke says: “You can’t estimate the power of time with your child. You don’t need to spend lots of money to enjoy quality time with your little one – you can get outside in the park, enjoy the library and, most importantly, cook and eat with them every day. Having that family time, where you sit together and listen to one another’s days is so important so that parents can bond with their children, watch and help their development – and ensure they’re eating the right things. It’s so easy to get distracted in this modern day but the most important things are usually right there in front of us.”
The research, of 2000 parents of children aged under 14 also revealed that when it comes to making key decisions in the household, it appears that the child has more control over what happens than in days gone by! Nearly three quarters (72%) of people said their child had more control in their home than when they were young, and one in four (27%) admit that their child completely rules the roost! In fact, over half (53%) of British parents said that their child is the bossiest person in the household, over them or their partner.
Oxford appears to have the bossiest kids with nearly half (44%) being in charge, followed by Edinburgh (40%), Nottingham (37%), London (35%) and Birmingham (28%).
The research was undertaken by Scandinavian nursery brand, Stokke, to celebrate the Tripp Trapp – their world famous high chair that grows with your child. Launched in 1972, it has become a much-loved staple in thousands of homes across the globe – selling 10 million worldwide. Stokke’s ethos is to nurture family bonding, having your baby closer to you and the importance of eye contact.
Making quality time of with your children doesn’t need to be difficult. The top 10 most popular quality time activities that parents said they enjoyed doing the most with their kids were:
- Eating out (41%) + Going to the park (41%)
- Going for walks (40%)
- Going to the movies (37%)
- Going to visit other family and friends (31%)
- Playing board games (30%)
- Reading (27%)
- Swimming (27%)
- Cooking (26%)
- Playing games consoles (25%)
Stine Brogaard from Stokke’s top tips on becoming closer to your child:
- Don’t take time for granted. Instead of booking playdates for your child when you have the day off, make it quality mother/daughter or father/son time, doing something together that you both want to do.
- Ask your child questions; find out what their favourite things to do are. A child’s taste changes so much over time so it’s important to keep on track and do things that reflect this.
- Share passions – find something that you are passionate about and encourage your child to get into it too. Even better if it’s something you can do together, whether that’s reading, walking, or playing a sport such as football or tennis. This will make it much easier to find time for each other that you’ll enjoy. Though read the signs if they don’t enjoy it, you can’t force these things!
- Cook together. Eating is (usually!) something we do every day, so cooking together is a fantastic way to have fun together, give your child responsibility and educate them about food. Give them set tasks, let them choose what they’d like to cook and encourage them. Seeing the family appreciate the food you’ve created together will be something very special to them and give them confidence.
- Make the most of the shorter windows of time. We all have very busy lives, always going from A to B whether that’s school, work, extra-curricular classes or friends’ houses. If you’re travelling together, make sure you pay your child your full attention and make an effort to understand what’s gone on in their day and share snapshots of your own. The most important thing is to laugh together, and find ways to have fun, wherever you are – no matter how little time you have.