Parents Spending More Time With Kids Than Their Own Parents Spent With Them

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Parents today spend much more time with their kids than their own parents did, according to new sociological research from the University of California.

The study analyzed diaries that participants in 11 western countries have been filling out since 1965.

It’s true for moms and dads: the amount of time we spend with our children has gone up dramatically since 1965.

“We were interested in parents’ time with children because it’s known to have so many positive outcomes for them in terms of cognitive development, their language learning, even their behavior—whether kids act out or act up—is influenced by the time they spend with their parents.” UC Irvine’s Judith Treas, who co-authored the study, said.

Treas was concerned to find that parenting time has increased more among people with a college degree, suggesting that children of less-educated parents are losing out.

She also wonders something else.

“How much parenting parents can do, and are parents going to hit the wall? As time in child care continues to climb, when does it cease to be good for kids to have so much parental time? We’ve heard about helicopter parents, so we’re beginning to have some questions, if not yet answers about, can parents spend too much time with children?”


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