Should Be Put Away, and the Family Make Time for Family; as Research Shows Spending More Time with Their Busy Parents Would Make Children Happier, Parenting Charity Family Lives Suggests How to Maximise Quality Time. LISA SALMON Reports

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), December 23, 2015 | Go to article overview

Should Be Put Away, and the Family Make Time for Family; as Research Shows Spending More Time with Their Busy Parents Would Make Children Happier, Parenting Charity Family Lives Suggests How to Maximise Quality Time. LISA SALMON Reports


MOST parents would like their children to behave differently sometimes, perhaps by being less naughty, doing homework without being nagged, or not fighting with their siblings.

But yearning for a change in behaviour is a two-way street - many children would love their parents to act differently too.

New research has found there are lots of ways children would like their parents to change, with the number one alteration being that they want them to come home earlier from work.

Somewhat touchingly, the research by IKEA, which asked kids what their parents could do differently to make them happier, found that all the top changes involve spending more time with them.

"Children don't mind what it is they're doing, as long as they've got their parents' full attention," says Sandra Hiller, regional manager of the parenting charity Family Lives.

MOBILE OVERLOAD THE survey found a third of children believe their parents are on mobile phones too much, while nearly half (48%) of adults feel they don't have enough time to play with their children Sandra says that much of the problem stems from the pressure of finding the correct work/life balance.

"Parents say juggling work and family life is always an issue, especially when they work full-time. They find the parenting aspect of their life is compromised because of work issues, and often they spend a lot of time on the phone trying to organise their daily life.

"We don't want to blame parents and make them feel guilty, but to try to find a way for them to manage both without putting stress on their parenting as well as their work."

And while Sandra acknowledges that not all parents' phone time is spent organising things and there's also time for social media and other mobile entertainment as well, she stresses: "Sometimes a parent's stress levels can be so high that using the mobile is a distraction from the reality of trying to juggle work and children. It's a way of getting away from it all."

She points out, however, that she's seen families in restaurants who are all on their mobile phones, and often parents and children will text each other in the same house.

"If the children see that as normal behaviour, they'll continue to do it. It's important that parents don't use the phone as a way of communicating with their kids when they can do it face-to-face."

She suggests that perhaps for at least an hour every evening all phones - including the parents' - should be put away, and the family should talk to each other. …

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Should Be Put Away, and the Family Make Time for Family; as Research Shows Spending More Time with Their Busy Parents Would Make Children Happier, Parenting Charity Family Lives Suggests How to Maximise Quality Time. LISA SALMON Reports
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