Nov 16, 2015

Raising Kids When Both Parents Work Full-Time: The Latest Findings

Family life is changing and this means the roles fathers and mothers play is changing as well.

In the past several decades, the percentage of households with both parents working full-time has risen considerably.  In 1970, it was 31%.  Today it stands at 46%.

At the same time, the percentage of households where the father works full time and the mother stays at home has declined from 46% to 26%.

Families with both parents working benefit financially.  The median household income for families with two full-time working parents is $102,400 compared to $55,000 for households where the father works full-time and the mother stays at home.

Though it does benefit families financially, the balancing act is difficult.
  • 56% of families say it is difficult on their family.  
  • 32% say it makes it hard to balance work and family life.  
  • 23% say it is tiring for them most of the time. 
  • 9% say parenting is stressful for them all the time.
It seems to be most difficult for mothers.  Stats show that the mother does more when it comes to managing the children's schedules and activities.  54% say a larger share of the day-to-day parenting responsibilities falls to the mother. 

The balancing act often leaves parents feeling rushed as well.
  • 40% of mothers always feel rushed.
  • 86% of mothers feel rushed at least sometimes.
  • 81% of fathers feel rushed at least sometimes.
How does both parents working full-time affect the time they are able to spend with their children?
  • 39% of mothers say they spend too little time with their children. 
  • 50% of fathers say they spend too little time with their children.
These findings carry significant ramifications when it comes to ministering to families. We must keep in mind...
  • Families are very busy.  46% or more of the families you minister to are families with dad and mom working full-time.  Add to that school activities, sports, errands and every day responsibilities and you've got a few hours left for sleep...and that's about it.
  • Our ministry calendars must be simple, strategic and focused.  Families are only going to give us so much time.  Make that time count.
  • Parents are looking for opportunities to spend time with their kids.  Consider having less kid-only events and more family events. 
  • Many parents walk in our doors tired and stressed from a long week of work.  Make check-in and pick-up quick and easy for them.
  • Always think parents.  Your ministry is for parents just as much as it is for kids.  How can you encourage parents?  How can you equip parents?  How can you empower parents? 
Your turn.  The floor is yours.  How do you minister to working parents?  How can we more effectively encourage and equip busy parents?  Share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comment section below.

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