Between long work hours, busy after school schedules and countless distractions, today’s American family is feeling more disconnected than ever – creating a deficit in “quality time” amongst U.S. parents and their children.
The solution? According to the Disney Time Survey, a blind study conducted by Kelton, a leading research firm, quality family time not only increases while on vacation but parents and children say they learn something new about one another during this time, as opposed to when at home.
More than 1,000 parents of children age 5-17 participated in the Disney Time Survey, which asked families to think about and share thoughts on quality time when at home – versus when on vacation.
-- Out of 52 weeks a year, on average, parents surveyed admit that they have only 15 “free” weekends – i.e. “no plans.” Further, 13 percent say they have no free weekends.
-- Seventy-one percent of parents would love more time with their kids – up to nine hours more a week, specifically.
-- Ninety-six percent of parents would give up at least one thing for a year to spend just one extra hour with their children every week, such as a favorite TV show/sports/game (78 percent), the internet (74 percent), shopping (74 percent), sleeping late (69 percent), a favorite hobby (64 percent), even coffee (59 percent).
Solution? Go on Vacation!
-- Almost one in two parents feel that out of all the time they spend with their children, only half of it, at most, could be classified as “quality time.” However, while on vacation, parents report that 82 percent of time would fall in the “quality time” category.
-- When they do vacation together, the whole family is inclined to be more excited (77 percent), relaxed (75 percent), silly (68 percent), calm (54 percent) and even more affectionate (54 percent).
-- Parents report eating an average of 10 meals with their children in a typical week at home. However, when on a seven-day vacation, families say they almost double the number of meals they eat together (19 meals vs. 10 meals)
– and 68 percent claim they would eat all 21 meals (three meals per day) as a family.