The Guardian (UK) August 22 2008
Members of the average British household spend 34 minutes a day shouting at each other, a poll of couples with children showed last night. It found that just over half the families argue at least once a day. The shouting persists for an hour or more in 35% of homes, rising to 50% in households with more than one child. The YouGov poll of 1,000 parents and 500 teenagers also found 23% of mothers and 19% of fathers confessed to loving the family pet as much as their own offspring. Parents said the phrase they used most often to their children was: “Why? Because I said so.” This was the favourite retort of 19% of parents, followed by “money doesn’t grow on trees” (14%) and “you should have thought of that before” (11%).
The poll was commissioned by Channel 4 to inform a documentary series on the family, starting next month. It found that, despite the everyday frictions, families retained strong ties of love and affection. Among teenagers 98% said they loved their parents and 69% said their families were the most important people in their lives. Nine out of 10 families sit down to dinner as a unit and 80% of parents say “I love you” to at least one member of the household daily.