Families are spending less and less time together and when they do, it’s usually sitting in front of the TV rather than spending time bonding.
In fact, families spend less than 8 hours of quality time together a week, with just under 30 minutes a day on weekdays and just over two hours at weekends.
It’s not just immediate family that are having trouble with quality time, grandparents are missing out too. The average family will only visit their grandparents six times a year!
Two thirds of parents are so concerned about the family not spending enough time together that they have, or are considering, arranging a holiday with the entire family.
A spokesman for Virgin Holidays and Universal Orlando Resort, which commissioned the study, said, “Families are busier than ever with parents working, children at school and the evening and weekends taken up with a host of clubs, sports and play dates with friends.
“But this means that many families struggle with really getting to spend some time together and just enjoy each other’s company for a while.
“And grandparents fare even worse as they seem to be a long way down the list of priorities when it comes to squeezing in the visits during the busy weekends.
“Instead of getting to enjoy their grandchildren growing up, many have to make do with quick visits on special occasions or snatched moments in between weekend activities.
“Going away together means you can really make the most of each other’s company, without worrying about making sure the kids have done their homework, are on time for their sports club or that the chores have all been done.
“Bringing along the children’s grandparents means the whole family can get some much needed time together that many find impossible to fit in at home.
“And they shouldn’t worry about being jet-setting babysitters – it really is incredibly easy to have a holiday where everyone gets to do something they enjoy.
“From the point of view of the youngsters, while our research found 17 per cent said their children were at an age when they didn’t want to spend time with their parents, we believe that a holiday is the perfect time to do this if they choose a location which can cater to everyone’s needs.”
The reason families said that they don’t spend enough time together was mostly blamed on working long hours.
A third of parents also said that when they did have spare time they had to use it to catch up on chores.
Over half of parents admitted that they had booked a family holiday simply to spend quality time together, away from the distractions of home.
A Virgin Holidays spokesman added, “The pace of modern life can too often mean that multiple generations of families spending time together is the exception, rather than the rule.
“And when it does happen, it’s often an ‘occasion’ requiring everyone to behave in a certain way.
“With the summer holidays looming though, we’d urge families to see it as a time to re-establish bonds and create some really precious memories.”