Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Family time?

An interesting article on time spent with family in Canada. The Globe & Mail report suggest that average Canadian workers spend 45 minutes less with their family on a typical work day than they did 20 years ago.
Add that up for a 260-day work year, and Canadians are missing out on the equivalent of five 40-hour work weeks with their family, or 195 hours less than 20 years ago, according to the Statistics Canada study "Time with the family," published in Tuesday's Canadian Social Trends. - Globe & Mail

I think the statistic is especially relevant to us parents who I believe are honestly trying to buck this overall trend. I do see spending time with family as very important but with certain jobs - family time changes with the seasons. As a teacher - my summers are focused considerably more on family than the rest of the year. However, I've found it critical that I actually have to book time for family weekly or else it just gets filled in with other stuff. The temptations of spending time surfing on the net or watching TV also negatively affects time spent with the kids as well. Numerous challenges to this family thing in the 00's.

Jer notes on his Lifestylism blog that the longer work day may be what causing the most significant cut into family time in response to this CBC article.

I think we sometimes mistakenly classify taking kids to swimming lessons or gymnastics or other sports as family time. In those cases, it may appear that we are spending time with family but in reality we are more like "taxicab" drivers and I don't think we can include that as family time. Any other thoughts out there regarding family time within our lifestyle?


Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting that you don't necessarily think that taking the kids to swimming or sports is considered as family time... I get what your saying but as the parent it might not seem like a big deal but I think as a child it means a lot... I played baseball for like 12 or 13 years and not once did my Dad attend a game...I would have given anything to know that he cared enough to sacrifice what he was doing to cheer me on. So I guess for me I would consider that some sort of family time...
Just a thought

Garth said...

You are right Nikki - it definitely is still a big deal for kids to have their parents there for them. In fact, I join Aimee in her swimming class every Tuesday and with me being gone this past Tuesday - she was very disappointed. I guess I see so many parents hauling their kids from one activity to the next without actually spending time where they are actively present.