Poll finds Britain’s families want more time together

The average British family spends just 45 minutes together each day, and spends much of that time eating and watching TV, a poll of 3,000 children and parents has found.

Campaigners say the results of the survey reveal a deterioration in the family unit caused by a “family-unfriendly culture”.

The poll found that 62 per cent of children spend less than 45 minutes a day doing things as a family – a figure which equates to less than five hours a week.

More than a quarter of children (28 per cent) and half of parents (55 per cent) said they would like to spend more time with their family but found other things getting in the way.

Over a third of mothers (35 per cent) blamed household chores for cutting into family time, although teenage mums were more likely to blame hobbies, friends and socialising.

Asked what their families do when they are together, one in three parents said they spent most of the time eating, and one in six said watching TV or playing computer games.

Just five per cent said they spent family time playing sport, while three per cent read stories and two per cent helped with homework.

Faced with a selection of family types, the largest group of parents (21 per cent) identified themselves as “TV and digital families”.

Only one in ten parents defined their family as a “caring family”, concentrating on looking after each other’s wellbeing.

A further one in ten were “food families” or “out and about families”.

The online poll was conducted for National Family Week. The week runs from 25th to 31st May and includes 4,000 events around the UK, encouraging families to enjoy being together.

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