Are Families Happier Today Than 40 Years Ago?

Family time is important whether its small or large.  I remember just sitting on the back deck with my dad and giggling (no idea what we were laughing about) and drinking some orange juice.  Or going berry picking with the family.  We couldn’t leave till we filled up all the tupperware but I remember those hot days together as a FAMILY.  Driving trips to the ocean… didn’t have a place to stay yet but we would figure it out once we got there.  Watching my mom put on makeup while she got ready for work.  So many more but it was time together that I remember.

In a recent survey of U.S. families conducted by FamilyFun magazine, parents rated their family’s happiness 17 percent higher today than when they were kids. The survey results and FamilyFun’s “Happy Family Playbook” were released today as part of the magazine’s special May “Happiness” issue.

U.S. parents and children who responded to the survey shared their family meal preferences, favorite activities, and how family happiness compares to previous generations. Striking statistics from the survey include:

  • 52% of families say more money would make their families happier vs. 48% who believe more time together would help family contentment
  • 88% say a weekly family game night would make their families happier than the 12% who’d prefer a new, big-screen TV
  • 71% of families would rather experience a dream vacation together than enjoy a renovated family room space
  • Vacations ranked #1 by both parents and kids as the top activity to generate family happiness while outings to local zoos and museums and playing board/video games together followed closely behind
  • Overall, parents rate their family’s happiness 17%higher today than when they were kids

For families looking for happiness tips, the May issue also includes seven ways to dial-up family happiness this year—including performing random acts of kindness and unplugging from electronics. You can view the full release and survey stats here, and an infographic highlighting notable stats below.



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About Leslie Pleasants

Leslie Pleasants is the founder of Today's Every Mom. Inspired by her own busy life with kiddos she set out to create a spot where Moms of any stage or age could find relevant and resourceful advice.