Eating, watching TV and doing chores together all rank high on the list as experts confirm that money is not the key to contentment
When it comes to having a contented household, some of the simple things in life are what matter.
Regularly eating together, watching TV and films with each other, and having no secrets are among the key things that bring families happiness, research has revealed.
Enjoying time together tops the list of 30 factors, having a garden is second, and a balanced home/work life is third. Parents sharing chores, and not arguing in front of the children also ranked highly.
Psychotherapist Glenn Mason said: “There is this myth that money can bring happiness – it is far from the truth.
“Yes, it can help pay the bills but the reality is the more money we have the more we often live beyond our means.”
He added: “Family meals are a great way to connect with each other and find out how each other’s day has been.
“Life is busy but we need to make time for each other.”
Life coach and author Rasheed Ogunlaru said: “This points to something many forget, that happiness comes from appreciating the things you have rather than the blind pursuit of things you perceive that you lack...
“There’s much to be said about the adage that the best things in life are free.”
Parents, who were asked to reveal what they think makes a happy home, said eating Sunday dinner together every week was important.
Having a dog was higher on the list than having a cat.
Many parents also said that two week-long holidays a year are a good way of beating the blues, as are regular days out.
Some insisted having a garage was important while others said a nearby pub was a key to keeping the family happy.
Carol Rhead, manager for pub chain Fayre & Square which carried out the research, said: “In a nation seemingly obsessed with materialism, we were interested to find out just what makes a happy household and were not surprised to find that it’s the little things that make a big difference.
“Spending time together as a family, parents sharing chores and eating a Sunday roast together came out high in people’s priorities. With today’s fast-paced lifestyle, it can be hard for families to find time to appreciate one another.”
The poll of 2,000 parents revealed that the typical family has just six hours together per week.
But on average, mums and dads rated their family’s happiness at an upbeat eight out of 10, with 40% declaring that their family life is happy and a further 32% saying it is very happy.
A troubled 4.5% of those questioned said they were unhappy with family life.
The poll also asked people what would make them contented – 43% said more time with their partner, 37% wanted better health and 33% said fewer arguments.
It also found that 23% would like to live in the countryside, while 22% said they would feel happiest by the sea.
Even sharing chores is a source of joy
• Enjoying time together as a family
• Having a garden
• A balanced home work life
• Watching television together
• Having no secrets
• Parents sharing chores
• Eating Sunday lunch together every weekend
• Having shared interests or hobbies
• Spending at least two evenings a week together
• Not arguing in front of the kids
• Having a good school nearby for the children
• Having a dog
• Eating breakfast together on weekends
• Having family movie nights
• Enjoying regular mini-breaks
• Having a cat
• Eating out at a restaurant once a month
• Having a weekly family take-away
• Two one-week holidays per year
• Two family days out per month
• Having a spare room
• One parent working part-time
• A pub within walking distance
• Eating breakfast together on weekdays
• Limiting the kids’ screen time
• 20 days’ holiday from work per year
• Having a garage
• Owning more than one car
• Having a weekly date night
• Having a cleaner