Why we spend so much time with our kids

CarPoolAs a mom it shouldn’t surprise you, but a recent University of San Diego study just proved that the hours moms spend with their kids has grown very significantly in the last two decades. What will most likely surprise you is the reason why. That ‘why’ may lead you to re-evaluate your priorities, so I want to share it.

Compared to the steadily decreasing amount of time college educated mothers spent with their children from the 60’s to the early 90’s, since the early nineties that time has increased by 9 hours a week, according to the study.

40 hours is considered a full work week, and this 9 hour increment is almost 25% of a full time job!

Non college educated moms increased their time with the kids by 4 or 5 hours- still a very considerable increase. Plus, fathers began spending more time with the kids than they had in the past. Add the moms and the dads together, and the increment is pretty amazing.

The researchers hypothesize that the reason for the increase is to improve their children’s chances of getting into the elite colleges by grooming them as achievers and leaders from an early age. And, of course, when everyone else is doing it, the pressure’s on you to do it too.

More kids go to college every year, but those elite educational institutions don’t increase their enrollment much. Comparisons with Canada, where the competition for higher education is quite different yet the language and culture quite similar, supports this conclusion.

The point here is the stress levels such a time commitment produces also have effects on our children. Gaining some insight into our own reasons for putting up with these stress levels may lead some of us moms and dads to re-evaluate our time commitments and priorities.

If Ivy League U isn’t in the cards under any circumstances, for whatever reasons, why play the game? If the goals you cherish for your children can be reached without Ivy League U, and everyone happier in a less stressed out family situation, why play the game?

It’s always good to do a reality check on our priorities and try to understand why we do what we do. You can read the full article about this study here.

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