Families now spend less than seven hours of quality time together each week, according to a new study.
The research found those in London and the South East don’t even manage to get anywhere near this, with work pressures meaning they spend the least time together (4 hours 42 minutes and 3 hours 42 minutes).
Showing the benefits of a different pace of life, those in the South West say they get to spend 13 hours 42 minutes with their family each week.
The study shows mums and dads are keen to spend more time with their youngsters but don’t always get the chance.
Family fun: Research found those in London and the South East don’t even manage seven hours, with work pressures meaning they spend the least time together (file pic)
There can be little doubt we struggle for a work-life balance as almost half of parents with children under 18 (44 per cent) are desperate to spend more time together as a family.
But as well as work, they say the distractions of technology (30 per cent) and their children’s homework (22 per cent) are now two of the biggest barriers.
Worryingly, 10 per cent say their lives are so busy they don’t spend any quality time together at all while a fifth (19 per cent) admit they regularly go an entire week without getting together properly.
The research by vitamins company Bassetts found that with so little time, modern day parents regard all sorts of snatched moments with their children as ‘quality time’.
Two thirds (59 per cent) now consider watching television together as ‘quality time’ while three per cent of time-pressured parents even regard the school run as ‘quality time’.
Despite this, we only get 6 hours 48 minutes of quality time each week.
And the study of 2,000 UK parents found when we do get to spend time together, the benefits are obvious.
Modern life: Worryingly, 10 per cent of parents say their lives are so busy they don’t spend any quality time together at all while a fifth (19 per cent) admit they regularly go an entire week without getting together properly
Nearly two thirds of parents say it makes them happier (61 per cent) and 40 per cent say it makes them feel more relaxed.
Meanwhile, they also noticed the remarkable impact spending quality time together has on their children.
Not only are they happier (68 per cent) and want to spend more time together (50 per cent) but they are also more loving (42 per cent), sleep better (29 per cent), have better appetites (15 per cent) and more energy (20 per cent).
Indeed, virtually all parents (98 per cent) recognise that family time is crucial for their child’s development
And it seems spending more time with our children can be a valuable learning experience for adults.
Parents say their children help remind them that you can find joy in small things (59 per cent) and not to care what others think (37 per cent).
Two thirds say their children remind them how to laugh each day (63 per cent) and 45 per cent say spending time together has helped them overcome a fear of new challenges.
The research comes as Bassetts Vitamins releases its Family Life report penned by child development expert Dr Richard Woolfson with support from family nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed.
The report examines the impact of quality time along with the difficulties modern day family life poses and how to combat them so parents can make the most of time with their children.
Bassetts has also created unique ‘Colour Quest Packs’, which allow families to connect with different activities.
Skye Lucas-Banks, from Bassetts, said: ‘Once we’re back into the usual routine of school runs, work patterns, homework and chores, it’s easy to lose sight of those moments which create cherished memories.
‘We created these packs with some quick and easy ways for families to connect in those little moments we have every day, whether that’s going on a ‘treasure hunt’ in the garden or choosing and preparing a nutritious dinner together.’