To busy for family time
Did you know that over the past 20 years, children’s free time for play and unstructured activities has declined by 12 hours per week? During that same period, time in structured sports has doubled, and passive, spectator leisure has increased five times, to over three hours per week. The impact this has had on families is profound: a 100 percent decrease in household conversations, a 33 percent decrease in family dinners, and a 28 percent decrease in families taking vacations.
What difference does this make for the children? A national poll of teens found that 21 percent rated “Not having enough time together with parents” as their top concern. Another study found that teens that ate meals regularly with their families had greater academic success, participated in fewer undesirable behaviors and were better adjusted psychologically. Children were also found to eat more healthy foods if they ate regular meals with their families.
How about your family? How many hours a week are your children involved in structured sports? Do they have much time left to just play? How many hours per week is your family involved as spectators? How many hours are spent in practice times? In travel to and from activities? What are your costs for equipment, clothes, meals eaten out, and fuel?
By contrast, how much time does your family have for just “hanging out” together? Do you eat family meals together on a regular basis? When was your last family vacation? Are you planning one this year?
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