By Zoya Gervis
Six in 10 parents worry they aren't making enough family memories – a new study finds.
New research into American family life found the extent to which many parents fear they are missing key moments and crucial family time and the emotional impact that comes as a result.
The study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Crayola Experience, surveyed 2,000 parents of school-aged kids and found that 57 percent struggle to find quality time with their children due to a hectic daily life.
That fast pace also translates to a feeling of disconnect, with one in three children saying their parents work too much.
As a result, the guilt takes a toll and 44 percent of parents admit their kids have made them feel guilty about not spending enough time together as a family.
The struggle to find time becomes worse during the week with 39 percent of parents spending 30 minutes or less with their children.
And yet, the most common go-to family activity is watching TV (72 percent), despite the fact that majority of parents surveyed (75 percent) said they were happiest when they were “playing games” with their kids.
“It’s no surprise that parents feel the most fulfilled when actively playing with their kids,” Crayola Experience Senior Vice President Victoria Lozano said.
“Children are eager to play with their parents and spend as much quality time with them as they can.” Lozano continued.
“That’s one of the reasons why in our attraction, we focus on creative experiences not just for kids, but for families, because we feel ‘active’ play is the best way to create deeper, more meaningful interactions with your children.”
But when they do manage to carve out space in the manic day-to-day life, millennial parents, in particular, are really jumping (literally) into the active lifestyle-74 percent of parents aged 18-35 choose to spend quality time with their kids by doing something active rather than something passive.
But what does it mean to play with your children these days? How do you make a memory?
Many American parents still go to the park with their children as a favored activity (76 percent), while going out to dinner with the kids (71 percent), and going on vacation with the entire family (65 percent) remain prominent memory-making moments.
Creative play is also on the agenda, with 50 percent of parents aged 18-35 thinking outside the box and doing things like ‘inventing different voices’ as a way to play with their kids.
In fact, more and more parents – a whopping 94 percent of moms and 97 percent of dads – are choosing to incorporate some form of creativity and imagination into playtime.
Moms are tapping into their creative side by doing crafts and other artsy projects (59 percent), while dads (59 percent) tend to seek more outdoorsy things like throwing a ball or playing hide and go seek.
But both moms (32 percent) and dads (38 percent) are fueling their kids’ imaginations by ‘inventing characters’ during play time.
“Creativity and being playful is paramount to be a kid,” Lozano added. “And when you take the time to really play with your kids, at home or at an attraction like ours, you’ll find that those are the memories that will last a lifetime.”
Top 5 Ways Parents Play With Their Kids
1. Watch TV
2. Do something active (throw a ball, play hide and seek)
3. Play board games
4. Do a creative/crafting project
5.Do voices/story games