The findings of a new study have now emphasized on the importance of spending enough family time, particularly when it comes to teens, and have found that it could also be effective in keeping teens out of trouble.
Just spending six hours a week with their moms reduces the likelihood of negative behavior in teens according to the study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto and Bowling Green State University.
This research is now published in the Journal of Marriage and family, and has found enough evidence to support the idea that a mother’s time is irreplaceable for the child’s development.
The researchers evaluated the time mothers spent with their children all of whom between between 3-11 years of age and within the 12-18 year-old age bracket. They also analyzed how this time related to the child’s academic, behavioral and emotional performance.
“In childhood and adolescence, the amount of maternal time did not matter for offspring behaviors, emotions or academics, whereas social status factors were important,” the researchers explained. “For adolescents, more engaged maternal time was related to fewer delinquent behaviors, and engaged time with parents together was related to better outcomes. Overall, the amount of mothers’ time mattered in nuanced ways, and, unexpectedly, only in adolescence.”
Six hours of family time a week averages out to roughly one hour each day, and the researchers believe that it is essential.
“When mothers are stressed because of the juggling with work and trying to find time with kids [that they] may actually be affecting their kids poorly,” they added.
What’s more, they also found that the quality of time spent with kids has an edge over the quantity of time spent.
“In an ideal world, this study would alleviate parents’ guilt about the amount of time they spend and show instead what’s really important for kids,” they added. “The amount of time doesn’t matter, but these little pieces of time do.”