The amount of time parents spend caring for their children has been steadily rising since the 1970s. Yet many report feeling guilty for not spending more time with their kids. One group of sociologists wondered: Is more time actually better? And the answer surprised them. According to their new study, the number of hours spent with a parent had no impact on how a child turned out, upending long-held beliefs about what’s best for our kids. But that’s not the whole picture. Existing research says quality time with parents, including meal times and reading, is hugely beneficial to a child’s development, leaving many parents wondering about the best balance. The latest on how time with parents impacts a child’s well-being.


  • Melissa Milkie Professor in the department of sociology at the University of Toronto; lead author of the new study "Does the Amount of Time Mothers Spend with Children or Adolescents Matter?"
  • Sandra Hofferth Professor of family science and director of the maternal and child health program at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.
  • Bradford Wilcox Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia; visiting scholar, the American Enterprise Institute.
  • Brigid Schulte Staff writer for The Washington Post; author of "Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time"

Poll: What Kind Of Time Do You Spend With Your Kids?

Graphic: Time With Our Kids Has Changed

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