You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Family life keeps changing, stats reveal


American families have changed significantly over the past 46 years, according to information recently published by the Pew Research Center. This report is filled with fascinating statistics that reflect rather dramatic changes in family life since 1965. Here are some key findings:

• Parents have almost doubled the amount of time they are spending with their kids, 12.5 hours per week in 1965 compared to 21 hours today. Both moms and dads have increased their child-care responsibilities, but the most significant change is for dads, who only spent 2.5 hours with children kids 46 years ago, but spend seven hours per week with them today.

Is this a good or a bad trend? Is there a right amount of time that families should spend on child-related activities? Is it possible to spend too much time with your children, at the expense of your own personal needs and your marital relationship? Most moms (68 percent) are happy with the amount of time they spend with their kids, whereas 46 percent of dads feel that they don’t spend enough time with their children. Given that dads have already increased the amount of time they spend overall, more time with the kids could only come by decreasing work responsibilities.

• About an equal number of moms (56 percent) and dads (50 percent) report that it is very or somewhat difficult to balance their work and home responsibilities. Life begins to feel like all you are doing is making lists and getting stuff done, rather than enjoying the moment. As expected, parents who report these difficulties also report an overall lower level of satisfaction with their lives.

This is a tough dilemma for families, who feel intense pressure to meet the many expectations of work and family. The most successful families are those who learn how to say “no,” placing reasonable limits on work and their children rather than striving to meet ever increasing expectations.

• The total amount of time that is spent doing housework has decreased overall from 36 hours to 28 hours since the 1960s. Moms still spend about eight hours per week more than dads doing housework, but that trend is converging.

The researchers didn’t look at what role children have in housework, but I admire families that involve their children in regularly doing household tasks. This can relieve some pressure from parents, and teach kids some valuable life skills. I really like the message this sends to children. Parents are not there to serve them, but families need to work together to get things done.

Parents know that life is about making choices and achieving a balance that works for them. Successful families achieve that equilibrium by communication, compromise and an acceptance that you can’t have everything you want.

Next week: 6 secrets to a happy marriage!


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

Dating website matches Trump supporters
Dating website matches Trump supporters

One California man wants to "make dating great again" with a Trump-themed dating website. Trump Singles is a not-quite-new, but suddenly ignore-at-your-own-peril dating site is aimed squarely at supporters of the president-elect. Founder David Goss launched the site in May 2016 for "like minded" people with the same political views...
Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info
Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info

A new phishing scam is allowing hackers to gain access to unsuspecting Gmail users' accounts and target their login credentials, according to recent reports. Mark Maunder, CEO of security service Wordfence, described the scam in detail in a blog post, adding that it is also targeting other services beyond Gmail. Tech Times reported that the scam involves...
Tuna, star of the Amazing Acro-Cats, dies of cancer
Tuna, star of the Amazing Acro-Cats, dies of cancer

The cowbell won't sound quite the same now that Tuna, the star of the Amazing Acro-Cats cat circus, has died.Happy Cats Haven posted the news Friday on its Facebook page: "To all our fans of Tuna and The Rock Cats and the Amazing Acro-Cats, it's with many tears that we let you know that Samantha Martin's star kitty Tuna crossed the Rainbow Bridge...
7 small changes that will have a big impact
7 small changes that will have a big impact

It’s only a few weeks into 2017, but you’ve already come to an uncomfortable and familiar realization. New Year’s resolutions result in more guilt and depression than achievement. Forget about the big aspirations for a transformational do-over. They don’t work. How about making some small changes today that eventually can have...
Let’s have a cheer for the Amherst Hamsters
Let’s have a cheer for the Amherst Hamsters

Amherst, a tiny college of 1,795 really smart scholars in Massachusetts, made news last year when the board of trustees voted to drop Lord Jeffs as its athletic teams’ unofficial mascot. Lord Jeffery Amherst, historians discovered, was not necessarily a nice person. The 18th century British general reportedly once suggested giving smallpox-infested...
More Stories