Parents Spend More Time With Their Kids Than Ever, and It Shows

If it feels like you’re doing it all as a parent, it’s probably because you really are.
Amelia Protiva
2 min read

Even with more moms and dads working outside the home than ever, a study from UC Irvine showed that modern parents are spending 2x the amount of time with their kids than parents 50 years ago. And the time dads spend with their kids has quadrupled! In 1965 dads averaged just 16 minutes minutes with their kids, while today they spend almost an hour every day in an active caregiving role. Our egalitarian view of parenting is self-evident.

In just 5 decades, across 11 Western nations (excluding France), that’s an incredible change. This notable shift not only calls out changing family dynamics but also emphasizes the key role both moms and dads take in the modern family.

The time parents are spending with their kids includes everything from meal and snack times to bath time, bedtime, helping them with homework, and playing with them, among other activities.

Although the study did not encompass data on boomer parents, the increase in time that millennial parents dedicate to their children, often without external support, highlights the heightened demands of modern parenthood. We're balancing increased personal responsibilities while still prioritizing quality time with our kids.

The active involvement and engagement of both parents plays a positive role in shaping our children's overall well-being and health throughout their lives. Data from youth.gov highlights that family engagement not only helps in steering children away from health risk behaviors but also encourages positive health habits, like participating in school-related physical activities. In addition, having engaged parents increases school attendance and improves kid’s overall grades and test scores.

Considering that 75% of our time with our children has elapsed by the time they're 12 years old, it seems we’ve realized how fleeting and valuable our time with our children really is.

I'm immensely proud of our generation for reshaping this narrative so significantly. Mom and dad, your efforts, dedication, and love are shaping the future in impactful ways, even when it feels like a lot. Keep making the most of every moment with your children, because every second, every hour, every day you spend together counts and is making a difference.

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