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Snapshot of Australian Families

In an effort to better understand the balance between work and home that contemporary parenthood brings, we have conducted surveys of more than 1000 families that aim to understand a little more about what’s happening in our homes, the challenges we are facing and the things that make us happy. The survey has completed its second annual cycle.

By sharing what happens behind closed doors we gain a better understanding of the genuine issues facing families and the questions that we need to answer as a community to help families flourish.

Meals

Meals

31.8% of families only eat breakfast together on weekends. However 11% (↓ from 12%) of families never eat breakfast together.

Emotions

Emotions

Like our previous survey, parent’s emotions are quite a contrast. The two words parents felt best described family life over the previous three months were happy 49% (↓ from 54%) and stressed 39% (↑ from 36%). These were followed by overwhelmed 37% (↑ from 34%) and content 27% (↑ from 23%).

Expenses

Expenses

39% (↓ from 40%) of parents have struggled to meet essential expenses like food, mortgage/rent, utility bills, child care or important medical care over the past 12 months.

Budgeting

Budgeting

26% (↓ from 29%) of families do not believe they have enough money left after essential expenses to purchase much of anything they really want.

Future

Future

51.5% (↓ from 54.5%) of parents believe their children face a tougher future than the one they have grown up in. Only 3.1% thought their children would have fewer problems, and 45% (↑ from 42%) thought the level of challenges would remain the same, they would just be different.

Family Time

Family time

48% (↓ from 53%) of parents believe they spend less time with their children than their parents spent with them.

Behaviour

Behaviour

38% of parents say they sometimes, often, or always offer their child rewards such as money or toys to get him/her to do what they want.

Reading

Reading

62.6% (↑ from 59.5%) of parents set aside one-on-one time to read with their child for at least 20 minutes either often or always. However, 14% of parents never or rarely set aside this time to read.

Happiness

Happiness

64% (↓ from 66%) of parents are happy in their role as a parent “most of the time”. Sadly however, 1.7% (↑ from 1.5%) are unhappy “most of the time”.

Relaxation

Relaxation

45% (↓ from 46%) of parents rarely or never take time out to relax or clear their mind (for example: relax in a bath, read a book, chat with a friend, take a walk).

Discipline

Discipline

72% (↓ from 73%) of parents would rarely or never intervene if they saw someone else’s child misbehaving in public and their parent was unaware.

Screen Time

Screen time

15% of children are being occupied by 2 or more hours a day of screen time. 8% never use screen time and 1% have more than 4 hours a day.

Time out

Time out

65% (↑ from 62%) of parents believe more quality time for themselves would positively influence how happy they feel in their role as a parent. This was followed by more quality time with their child 58% (↑ from 53%), more sleep 44% (↑ from 43%), and better financial resources 43% (↓ from 45%).

Television

Television

Despite the rise of mobile devices, it is television which is still occupying children’s screen time. 64% of children’s screen time is usually or often used on television, followed by 24% on tablet and 9% on smartphone.

Managing Time

Managing time

88% of parents use their child’s screen time to complete household chores. Other popular uses of this time include cooking 72%, “me time” 23% and making phone calls 21%.

Exercise

Concerns

Exercise and weight loss are troubling parents with 28% very or extremely concerned with both issues. Also in the top five concerns were work/life balance (23%), finances (23%) and chores/housework (19%).

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