Maybe tomorrow: Most parents confess they’re too busy for quality time with their kids

  • New survey reveals that four out of five parents reveal their children have complained to them that they don’t spend enough time together.
  • Another 55% admit they’re often preoccupied when even attempting to have quality time with their kids.

NEW YORK — Many young American children are barely spending any quality, leisurely time with their parents. That’s the disconcerting finding from a recent survey of 2,000 U.S. parents (with children between the ages of 3-16). More than half of respondents (55%) say they are too busy with other commitments to spend quality time with their kids and enjoy the “fun of parenting.”

In all, 67% of parents say they are always worrying about missing a special moment with their young children, and 40% admit they’ve already missed out on at least one major milestone in their child’s life due to a more pressing obligation.

There are only so many hours in the day, and clearly many parents wish they had a few more to work with in their daily schedules; 78% say they wish that they had more time available to spend with their kids. Another 82% feel like their children are growing up far too quickly.

According to the survey, which was commissioned by Crayola Experience, more than four in five (82%) respondents have heard complaints from their child about not spending enough time together. Among those parents, 25% say they hear those complaints quite often.

Perhaps even more troubling, when many parents are able to find some time for their kids, they find it hard to give them their full attention. A staggering 78% of surveyed parents say their child has complained they aren’t fully focused on them while they are supposed to be spending time together. Within that group, 26% say their kids express these feelings on a regular basis.

Maybe some of those complaints could be written of as the child over exaggerating, but consider this: 55% of surveyed parents outright confessed to being preoccupied while spending time with their kids.

“Let’s face it. The daily responsibilities of parenting can rapidly fill up our days and sometimes the fun of parenting can get lost,” comments Victoria Lozano, senior vice president of Crayola Experience and a mother of three, in a statement. “Before we know it, we’re wondering where the time went and how the kids grew up so quickly.”

When asked how they would like to create special moments with their children, the number one response given by surveyed parents was attending a sporting event (47%). After that, teaching them a new skill (46%), encouraging their creativity (45%), taking them on a road trip (45%), and going to a museum (44%) rounded out the top five answers.

Additionally, a majority (84%) of parents want to give their children the same fun childhood experiences that they once enjoyed, such as going camping or building a snowman. Similarly, 94% believe that creating life-long memories with their kids is very important. Despite this, 70% of respondents say they constantly worry about not creating enough special memories for their kids.

So, what then is stopping so many parents from accomplishing these goals? The most prevalent reason given by parents was simple, everyday distractions (50%), difficulty deciding on an activity (45%), and lack of time (44%).

As far as overall parenting struggles, the top issues listed by respondents were: balancing quality time with their kids and other daily obligations (53%), constant worries about their child’s safety (48%), maintaining a work-life balance (44%), keeping their kids motivated (41%), and knowing when to step in or step out of a situation involving their child (41%).

Finally, on a humorous note, 37% of parents say they would give up alcohol if it meant spending more time with their children, and 31% even say they would give up watching sports.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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