Are technology and long working hours having a negative effect on family time?

Although many of us like the idea of spending more time as a family, in reality it doesn’t happen as often as we’d like it to. There are many pressures on family life that prevent us from doing simple things like having dinner together or actually making time to sit, listen and talk to our children. Long commutes, the increasing number of smartphones and tablets in households, and generally hectic lives all play a part in parents and children spending less time together as a family.

The UK has experienced a 22% decline in weekly family meals, 8 in ten parents say they don’t spend enough time with their children and 25% of those blame the longer hours and longer commutes many are facing. (Highland Spring survey quoted by the Daily Mail.[i])

94% of individuals surveyed by ATL said the main reason for families spending less time together was due to parents working more, while 92% blamed the use of technology. Furniture giant Ikea[ii] found that only half of families find the time for a sit-down family meal at least once a week – a sharp fall from 72% in the previous generation (Ikea).

With UK parents working some of the longest hours in Europe, parents are often exhausted and spending time as a family is a rare luxury for once they have done the household chores, sorted things out for the next day for the kids and caught up on general admin.

We, as a company, provide Kaya nannies who go above and beyond the traditional role of the nanny, by giving you the flexibility to have the quality family time you want.

Whether it’s help with the supper, homework, activities, grocery shopping, dog walking or laundry (the list goes on), we’ll help you find the right Kaya nanny that’s tailored to your needs. A Kaya nanny can be with you five days a week or one day a week, with no minimum number of hours required.

Ultimately, we want each and every family who works with us to be 100% happy. “Freckles provided a great service, the combination of help around the house and fun, but reliable, childcare was exactly what we needed”, said one of our clients, Claire B.

“Hannah is an absolutely wonderful nanny. I trust her 100%, as do our 3 boys. They share their fears and fun with her and when I come home from work, I come home to a calm & happy home full of laughter. I couldn't have found a better nanny / childcarer than Hannah.” Kunera M

Kristen Harding has written a fantastic article on family time that’s hosted on the Talented Ladies Club[iii] website, and she gives her tips (summarised below) on how to spend more family time together. We’ve added some of our tips too:

1.       Ban phones and tablets at the supper table

2.       Use apps such as OurPact which allows you to control how much time your children spend on screens

3.       Buy a new board game – we love Ticket to Ride and whip it out after supper for a quickround all together

4.       Set aside family time – don’t just assume it will happen

5.       Find one-on-one time too – spend time with your partner and individual family members

6.       Be present – stop the multi-tasking for a while!

7.       Be a role model – lead by example, put your phone down too

8.       Be supportive, actively listen and try not to judge or brush away your children’s stories or concern’s as this will encourage them to talk more and help to develop a strong relationship as a family

[i] - How Long is family Time?

[ii] - Only half of UK families find time for a sit-down meal

[iii] – Why family time is so important.

*Photo sourced from Huffington Post.