So how do most families spend their free time? Here are some interesting facts and statistics about family time in the United States and elsewhere:

Statistic #1:
Media as a child’s primary companion

Children ages two to seventeen will spend TEN TIMES more time in the company of some form of media than they do with their own mothers. By the time they graduate from high school, most kids will also have spent 3-times as many hours sitting in front of a screen as they have spent in the classroom. (Walsh, 2007, p. 263)

Statistic #2: Type of media use by children

Compared with children a decade ago, today’s kids spend 79 more minutes of free time each day listening to music, watching TV or movies, playing video games or surfing the web. Total media exposure amounts to 7 hours and 58 minutes a day, or more than 53 hours a week, up from 6 hours 19 minutes a decade earlier. Here’s the breakdown of what types of media children use the most:

1. TV content: 4 hours 29 minutes daily average

2. Music or audio: 2 hours 31 minutes daily average

3. Computer: 1 hour 29 minutes daily average

4. Video games: 1 hour 13 minutes daily average

5. Print media: 38 minutes daily average

6. Movies: 25 minutes daily average (Toppo, 1-20-2010)

Statistic #3:
Children helping with housework

Children spend an average of 24 minutes a day doing cleaning, laundry and other housework a 12% decline from 1997, and a 25% drop from 1981 levels, according to studies done by Dr. Sandra Hofferth, director of the Maryland Population Research Center (Shellenbarger, 2008)