During tough economic times, you’d expect parents to be working longer hours to make ends meet and family time would suffer. A recent poll conducted by the New York Times and CBS News has found quite the opposite: “More Americans are spending more time with family and friends and less time shopping during the recession.”
What exactly are families doing together? According to UPI:
Meanwhile, the poll found that while some Americans are working longer hours, a larger proportion are spending more time than before with family and friends and pursuing such hobbies as gardening, cooking, reading and watching television.
The Times said the poll results mirror a poll performed by the Department of Labor, whose latest time-use surveys indicated that Americans spent less time in 2008 buying goods and services and more time cooking or taking part in “organizational, civic and religious activities” compared with 2005.
Spending more time together as a family with less money to spend translates to quality family time. The mall and movie theater are abandoned for the park, trail, river, and pond. The New York Times describes one family’s journey through the recession:
After school and on weekends, the family now hops into a pink canoe they bought secondhand. They paddle through Biscayne Bay to nearby islands, naming each, sometimes making boats out of sticks and leaves.
“I’m trying to teach the kids that you don’t need to have expensive toys to have fun,” said Mr. Montoya, 47, an artist and freelance art director in advertising. “You can make it fun, from anything.”
Of course, it is not all pink canoes for families that are suffering unemployment, but at least family time is being renewed by tough economic times (and Disney product sales have dropped).