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30 October 2017

Nearly 40 per cent of Northern Ireland families spend less than 30 minutes per day doing activities with their children.

NI FAMILIES ‘BOTTOM OF THE TABLE’ OF UK PARENTS WHO WILL SPEND THE EXTRA HOUR WITH THEIR CHILDREN WHEN CLOCKS GO BACK THIS SUNDAY.

PARENTS HERE BLAME HOMEWORK AND LONG WORKING HOURS FOR IMPACTING THEIR ‘FREE TIME’ WITH CHILDREN

MORE PARENTS HERE SPEND TIME WITH THEIR CHILDREN WATCHING TV THAN ENJOYING A FAMILY MEAL TOGETHER

ONLY 13 per cent of parents in Northern Ireland are planning to spend the extra hour they gain when the clocks go back this weekend with their children, Action for Children NI has discovered.

Northern Ireland parents surveyed were less likely than anywhere in the UK to make use of the clocks going back to enjoy quality time with their kids.

Instead 32 per cent said they would spend the extra time sleeping. And when parents here do get time to spend with the children they prefer to watch telly rather than have a family meal together.

This Sunday, Action for Children is encouraging adults to spend the ‘extra hour’ with the children in their life by joining National Children’s Hour

And the survey revealed a staggering 40 per cent of parents here spend less than 30 minutes each day doing activities with their children.

Parents in Northern Ireland blame long working hours as the main reason for not being able to spend time with their children with 30 per cent claiming it impacts their quality time with the kids.

27 per cent of parents would like their children to have less homework so they can spend more quality time with their children with 45 per cent saying work was the biggest obstruction.

Dawn Shaw, Director of Action for Children Northern Ireland, said: “Being a parent is tougher than ever before. People must juggle the fast pace of modern life, tricky shift patterns and all while trying to pay the bills, not to mention challenges managing screen time, completing homework and attending after-school activities.

“National Children’s Hour is a back-to-basics celebration of everything that is great about childhood. All that's required is to ask children what they want to do with their hour and try to make it happen – within reason of course.

“Use the extra hour to bring a book to life, have fun with science by making magic milk that looks like a potion or your own playdough. You could build a spaceship out of junk, look through old family photographs, whatever, just have fun together and see the response you get.”

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