A recent poll carried out by family brand ‘Fruittella’, reveals that British relatives spend only 44 minutes a day talking to each other, despite spending more than 8 hours a day together.
The poll was put to 2,000 relatives of children aged 4-16 years old, and results alarmingly show that conversations between parent’s and children before school, last only 9 minutes.
During an evening meal, that extends to 11 minutes, and that’s for those who still make the effort to sit around a table together, bedtime a further 10 minutes (Usually stalling tactics to delay bedtime) …
I know my 6 year old tends to leave it until bedtime to talk about really important matters, such as, “Mummmmmmmmmmm, you know today, a unicorn ran across the school field and we all had to all jump on an aeroplane, fly around the world and then walk back, but don’t ask my teacher, because she will say she can’t remember.”
Unsuprisingly, 9/10 parent’s say they wish they could spend more time with their children than they currently do.
87% say they would like more meaningful chat on a regular basis.
Some parent’s even say that conversation with their children after school is just ‘impossible’ and usually only gets reactions such as; ‘I can’t remember’ ‘Not sure’ or ‘I don’t know’.
Generally, it is believed that early evening is the best time to get your child to open up and have a chat.
My little girl goes into great detail, and we have some really lengthy discussions before bed.
She must think I was born yesterday, and am not aware of the fact that she is only telling me half of this stuff as it means she gets to stay up a bit later.
But, to be honest, I think I would feel really guilty if i didn’t stay to listen to the story of ‘Child A pushing Child B off the climbing frame’ or ‘How school had tried poisoning her with witches food at lunchtime.’
A spokesperson for Fruittella said, “There is no greater pleasure than hearing about how they have made a new friend, a skill they have mastered or a funny thing that has happened’
Fruittella carried out the research to encourage parent’s to take an extra 2 minutes a day, to sit down with their children and chat about all the great stuff that they do that we don’t normally hear about.
I made a little jar for my children (only the eldest one really understands and makes use of it, but we encourage the toddler to join us too!) which contains question cards.
She picks out three cards each night (we don’t ALWAYS get around to it to be fair, but we try our best if we are home) and this encourages fun conversation.
It beats the regular ‘What did you do today?’ ‘Who did you play with?’ and ‘What did you eat?’.
The cards include:
- What is the best thing that you did today?
- What was the funniest thing that happened today?
- What games did you play at playtime today?
- What made you smile today?
- Did anything make you sad today?
Some days in our house, with three young children, it seems like a big rush to get everything done, a military operation almost, but conversation with your little ones is so rewarding and beneficial to both us as parent’s, and them as little tiddlywinks!
… and come on, what’s two extra minutes of your time? They’re not little for long, make the most of it I say.