Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Tuesday, 25 May 2010 17:11 UK

Parents spend '49 minutes' a day with their children

Girl picking bluebells
National Family Week encourages families to spend more time together

Parents spend on average 49 minutes a day together with their children, according to a new survey.

Of 3,000 parents surveyed 68% cited money as a barrier to spending more time with their family.

The study, which also asked the opinions of 1,000 children, was conducted ahead of National Family Week next week.

Of the children surveyed 66% were happy to spend time with their family at home rather than going out.

The study said: "Pound sign parents are blaming money for being the biggest obstacle to positive family life with 36% citing it as having a negative impact on family time."

It says this is "rubbing off" on their children as more than a quarter of eight to 15-year-olds in the survey said money was the most important thing to them, putting cash in front of their health, education, sport or music.

Making memories

Of those girls who responded to the survey, 42% said they wished they could spend more time with their father but only 6% said they wished they could spend more time with mother.

Eileen Hayes, parenting adviser at the children's charity the NSPCC, said: "Childhood memories are made of those priceless moments when you remember being valued by proud parents or listened to knowing you were cared for.

"This is far more important for a child's happiness than a slick new game or expensive day out.

"Parents can do more for their children's healthy development by focusing on the time they spend with them doing everyday things than the money they spend."

Next week's National Family Week is an annual event aimed at highlighting the importance of families spending time together.

Charities including the NSPCC and the National Literacy Trust support the initiative, which will see 5,000 events organised to encourage families to get together between 31 May and 6 June.

The research is based on a survey of parents and children conducted between 7 and 12 April.



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