How much do you talk to your children?

Another photo from Chicago.

Can this possibly be true? I know I’m possibly not typical, since I rarely stop talking* but I’d have been shocked if it had said 38 minutes a day, never mind a week.

Did they only count face-to-face talking with eye contact, maybe? As much as we do all talk, we don’t do that as much as we should. But we talk in the morning before school. We talk on the way to school. We talk on the way back. We have family meetings. (We had one last night. Harry ‘chaired’ and when he asked if anyone had anything else to say, Joe stood up, went up to Harry and said, “Harry Stainton.” Not sure he quite understood the brief.) We talk before bed. The thought of only talking with my children for 38 minutes a week, well… it’s incomprehensible.

* The other day we went to the supermarket and Harry and Joe were driving me nuts. I wasn’t so much talking with or to them as at them, but I was basically keeping up a running commentary of “Don’t touch that. I said don’t touch it. Put that down. No, we don’t need that. Careful, you’re in that man’s way. Come here. Stand still. Leave that alone. Get out of the way. Hold your brother’s hand. NO WE ARE NOT GETTING PICK’N’MIX!” Eventually I had them standing next to me and I said, “Now will you please just shush. Just… nice and quiet. I can’t take anymore…” which is when I realised they’d both been nice and quiet almost the entire time, it was my own constant’ waffle that was doing my head in. (You worked that out much quicker than I did, right?)

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7 thoughts on “How much do you talk to your children?

  1. How old are these children whose parents only talk to them for 38 mins a week? Are they, “You treat this house like a hotel!” aged-children? Coz that might be a feasible. Also, teenaged children do tend to talk a LOT of shite.

    I’m just sayin’.

  2. That’s a pretty stark statistic isn’t it, both when you consider that 38 minutes a week works out at just over 5 minutes a day, and also how low the figure must be for some families to balance out those families where they talk to their children lots and lots.

  3. Oh god. I couldn’t even imagine. 38 minutes a WEEK? How is that even possible?

    Though like Stella said, teenagers and such. I probably averaged 38 minutes a week with my dad from ages 14-18. But I’d feel bereft if I missed out on my boys’ chatter.

    Do you really have family meetings? 🙂 That’s adorable. I’ve had trips to the shops like your asterisked story. Many times.

  4. We only have L on a weekend and although at the minute he spends all his time in his room (he’s got to that age) I even think we talk to him for more than 38minutes!!!

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