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Study Finds Kids Want More Time With Their Parents (Doing These 20 Things)

Written by Erin Feher

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By now, most of us know the stats—us modern day parents spend more time with our children than parents did 50 years ago. We are talking twice as much time for moms, and almost four times as much for dads (who still clock in at far below mom’s average time, but that’s for another article). Yet, a new survey claims that kids still want more. The poll, commissioned by Red Robin and conducted by OnePoll, found that 73% of American kids would like more opportunities to bond with their families.

But before you let the news make you feel like you are falling short, consider this: It seems kids today really just want more of the good stuff they are already getting, as the majority of the 2,000 respondents (aged 6 to 17) considered their family life to be very close—even much closer than relationships they had with friends.

The love fest went both ways, as 70% of parents surveyed said they would also like more chances to spend quality time together. Luckily, moms and dads searching for inspiration don’t have to look far, as the survey pinpointed the top activities children want to do more often with their folks.

1. Go to the beach
2. Exercise
3. Play sports
4. Go to the pool
5. Go to the movies
6. Play at a park
7. Camp
8. Take a day trip (zoo, museum, amusement park, etc.)
9. Play video games
10. Go shopping
11. Go out to dinner together
12. Hike
13. Go to an event (sporting event, concert, etc.)
14. Spend time together in the car (driving to school, appointments, extracurriculars, etc.)
15. Watch movies at home
16. Make a meal together
17. Eat meals together at home
18. Play board games/card games
19. Create arts and crafts
20. Have them help with homework

When it comes to connecting around the dinner table, kids say they’d have more fun with their family if they were allowed to decide the order of the meal, i.e. dessert first (59%), could order for the entire family (52%), or if they were the only ones allowed to ask questions at the table (32%).

The majority of children surveyed consider their family to be close (90%), with more than half (56%) specifying a “very close” bond—and even though 34% of children don’t think their parents understand what it’s like to be a kid today, it doesn’t affect the strength of their family connections.

Surprisingly, even when asked about their friendships, children were more likely to feel connected to their family than to their peers (49% vs. 14%).

Parents were also asked which activities they most enjoy doing with their kids. Some of them—listed below—overlap with their children’s requests.

1. Eat meals together at home
2. Help their children with homework/schoolwork
3. Watch movies at home
4. Bath time/getting ready for bed
5. Make a meal together
6. Read bedtime stories
7. Go out to dinner together
8. Go shopping
9. Play video games
10. Driving their children around (to/from school, appointments, etc.)

While parents enjoy activities like hiking, helping with homework, and playing games, it all comes down to “anything where their children are enjoying themselves and laughing.”

Do you think your children desire more time with you (or vice versa)? Let us know in the comments below, along with your favorite family pastimes.

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