The Formula For Domestic Bliss Has Been Found
The key to domestic bliss is banning mobiles from the dinner table, family nicknames, two bathrooms - and good WiFi, a study has found.
The concept of ‘family bliss’ may seem like a pipe dream for many parents, but a poll, of 2,000 parents has revealed the formula to a happy family life, with at least 12 hours of quality family time a week and two holidays each year considered essential.
Getting out of the house as a family, enough bedrooms so that no-one has to share and regular date nights for Mum and Dad without the kids are also important.
A sofa big enough for everyone to sit on, regular family film nights and taking part in a fun family activity, such as bowling are also key to a happy home.
Liz Penney, spokeswoman for Hollywood Bowl, which commissioned the research, said: “The things we attribute to a happy family life are a great mix of modern comforts combined with more traditional quality time with the family.
“In a world where technology is ever present, it’s important to take a step back from the gadgets as much as possible to enjoy some happy quality time together, as a family.
“Getting out of the house on a regular basis to do some fun activities together is a great way of keeping everyone happy and content.
"Of course, practical domestic items such as good WiFi, a dishwasher and several TVs will also help to keep things harmonious.”
Other secrets of achieving a harmonic family life to feature in the top 50 include one-on-one time with each of the children, a space in the home for when someone needs time alone and grandparents living nearby.
UK Mums think regular meals together as a family, paired with lots of hugs and affection, are the key ingredients to achieving family bliss. In contrast, Dads across the country believe that taking regular holidays is the top way of achieving it.
Space in the home is crucial – a spare bedroom, large kitchen and a ‘man cave’ for Dad are also ways to keep the peace. A lock on the bathroom door, cooking together as a family and owning a dishwasher also make for happy living.
Other tech investments to ensure happy campers at home include a second television, tumble dryer and a family tablet.
But while nearly eight in 10 families say they manage to achieve some family bliss, only 15 per cent would say they are doing so on a regular basis. A lack of time and money were named the biggest barriers to achieving family bliss, followed by different interests, gadgets and technology and poor organisation.
The research also revealed that the average family has seven arguments a week, with chores, bedtime and money the three biggest causes of the rows. Homework, what to watch on TV and food are also among the subjects which lead to family discontent.
It also emerged almost nine in 10 Brits admit they need to make more of an effort to do fun things together to try and make their home life more harmonious.
Going out for a meal together is the top choice for families looking for something fun to do, with a walk, trip to the cinema and activities such as bowling also highly popular.
Liz Penney, spokeswoman for Hollywood Bowl added: “Nobody can expect to achieve domestic bliss 100 per cent of the time, but setting aside time to break away from our busy lifestyles and spend some quality time together can make a real difference.
“With quality time together as a family during the week ranking so highly on the list, it’s worth remembering that Hollywood Bowl is open seven days a week, making it the ideal spot for after school and work visits as well as weekend fun.
"Activities like bowling allow families to put down the phone and reconnect with one another, interact face to face, have fun and engage in some healthy competition along the way.
"And of course it’s important to have something that the whole family can do together.”
TOP 50 SECRETS TO DOMESTIC BLISS:
1. Always eating evening meals together as a family
2. Family movie nights at the cinema
3. Regular hugs/affection in the family
4. Getting out of the house as a family
5. Regular holidays
6. The occasional meal out as a family
7. Quality time together as a family on a week night after school/work
8. Banning phones/tablets at the dinner table
9. Good/fast Wi-Fi
10. A Sunday dinner together as a family
11. Knowing when someone in the family needs their own space
12. One-on-one time with each of the children
13. At least two bathrooms
14. Cooking a meal together/with the family
15. Not rowing in front of the child/children
16. No secrets in the family
17. A regular family film night at home
18. A sofa big enough for everyone in the family to sit on
19. A cat or dog
20. A second/spare TV
21. Regular date nights for Mum and Dad without the children
22. Enough bedrooms that everyone in the family can have their own
23. A weekly/monthly takeaway treat
24. A space in the home to go when you need time to yourself
25. A large kitchen
26. Grandparents/other family living nearby
27. A dishwasher
28. A spare room
29. A large TV in the front room
30. Always having a fun activity planned as a family for the weekend, such as bowling
31. A tumble drier
32. A family board game night
33. A lock on the bathroom door/s
34. At least one iPad/tablet
35. A cupboard topped up with treats
36. A Netflix account
37. Catch up TV
38. Equal pocket money for the child/all the children
39. More than one car
40. Recordable TV
41. Family nicknames
42. A kids' play room
43. The child/children each having their own TV and games console in their rooms
44. A shared taste in music
45. A cleaning rota
46. An Xbox
47. An evening/period of time where you ban all use of phones/gadgets etc
48. A man cave for Dad
49. Multiscreen/subscription services in different rooms of the house
50. All of the family supporting the same sports team