Don't think your kids never notice when you're not at home, physically or mentally.
In a research report for Project: Time Off, a group in support of vacations and time off work, results showed that six out of seven kids had noticed their parents bringing stress from work home. And, 75 percent of kids said their parents are unable to stop working even when they’re already home.
“Overwork has all sorts of negative consequences,” said Dr. Gilda Burian, a relationship expert and professor emerita at New York’s Mercy College. “It’s a mental and physical stress issue, and if you have kids, it’s dangerous for them,” added Dr. Burian who was part of the panel of experts tapped for the research. The survey was conducted by GfK, one of the largest market research companies, in 2015. It was participated in by 754 American children 8 to 14 years old.
So, what happens when you prioritize work above everything else? Six out of 10 of the kids reported feeling upset when their parents chose work over spending time with them, with 82 percent saying they want their parents deeply involved in their lives; this is true for majority of the participants, from the youngest to the oldest.
If your child is feeling the same way, there may be a way to fix things. According to the survey, children want their parents to take time off work, even for a day, for bonding whether it’s a day trip to the zoo or aquarium, or a family vacation.
Eight out of 10 kids said they felt stress to some degree in their everyday lives. However, when parents took a vacation leave to spend time with them, 77 percent reported feeling no stress at all. “Low-stress opportunities, like vacations, are critical to parent-child relationships,” said Project: Time Off. “Good relationships emerge out of simply having interactions with the people in our families under conditions that are not highly stressed,” added Dr. Lotte Bailyn, a published author and professor emerita at the MIT Sloan School of Management, who is also part of the study’s panel of experts.
Most kids want to spend quality time with their parents on vacation, according to the survey, with 60 percent saying family trips put them in a “very good” mood. It’s not just kids who enjoy vacations; half of the children reported seeing their parents in the same blissful mood when on holidays away with the family.
Worried about the expenses? Kids assure you that parents don’t need to shell out thousands in cash to make them happy. When asked about the “best or coolest things” children have done with their parents, kids answered with the usual things we know they enjoy: trips to amusement parks, camping outdoors, and going to zoos and aquariums. “It doesn't matter what we're doing, it only matters that we're having fun,” says an 11-year-old girl who participated in the survey.
Ready for some affordable family fun? Go on an adventure with your child to an eco-park or wildlife center. Visiting pet shelters and going library-hopping are great ideas to make unforgettable memories with the kids too. (Find out our suggestions for these places here.) For those considering going on a grand family vacation soon, here’s the 2017 list of best family-friendly resorts and hotels in the Philippines.