Modern families enjoy just 38 minutes of quality time together on the average weekday, according to yet another new study.
A combination of work, school and a packed timetable of clubs and activities means parents and their kids have precious few hours in which to catch up, talk, play or simply hang out as a family on the average week day.
And even then, parents reckon they're fighting a losing battle against technology, with more than nine in ten saying the time they have to spend with their kids is usually disrupted by digital distractions in the form of TV, computer games, mobile phones or tablets.
Almost a third of 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.
Worryingly, 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.
Yes, they'd rather stare at a screen than interact with a human who loves them. I think if things reached this stage in my house I'd be banning screens until my kids had time to reassess their priorities.
I hate the thought that reliance on electronic devices is having a deleterious impact on family quality time but I know all too well how easy it is to reach that point. I looked up from my phone whilst pushing my daughter on the swings in the park the other day, only to spot her mimicking me in the most depressing way; head down, shoulders hunched, tiny hands pretending to scroll through emails on an imaginary touch-screen phone.
No wonder 83% of those polled said they want to make more of an effort to spend quality time together as a family. Me too.
The study also found that more than two in five parents worry they don't spend enough quality time with their children.
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
If this is an all-too-familiar tale in your house, we'd love to hear your tips for tackling it. How do you get everyone to put down their screens and spend more time together as a family? Come and share your thoughts in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.
TOPICS: Parenting Tips