Last updated: 01:00 AM ET, Thu September 24 2015

Why Skipping Vacation is Bad For Your Kids

Features & Advice | U.S. Travel Association | Patrick Clarke | September 24, 2015

Why Skipping Vacation is Bad For Your Kids

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Adults aren't the only ones who love a vacation. While it may surprise some, children also value time away from home, where they can connect with their family.

A recent study commissioned by U.S. Travel Association initiative Project: Time Off, "The Work Martyr's Children: How Kids Are Harmed by America's Lost Week," found that nearly two-thirds of kids (61 percent) prefer to spend quality time with their parents on vacation.

That figure is given added significance by the fact that nearly one-quarter of working parents (22 percent) said that it had been more than one year since their most recent family vacation.

"Parents need to heed this report's warning. Today's children are missing out on the memories and traditions cherished by previous generations," said Project: Time Off Senior Director Katie Denis in a statement. 

The study was conducted in wake of previous research that found Americans take nearly a full work week less of vacation today than compared to the year 2000. 

"A child automatically admires a parent," said family counselor and Gurian Institute co-founder Michael Gurian in a statement. "A work emergency doesn't disrupt the connection — kids can think it's neat that their parent is important. But if emergencies become regular, the pattern changes and children can become resentful."

On top of six out of seven kids indicating that their parents often bring work stress home with them, three-fourths reported that their parents don't fully disengage from work once they arrive home.

The result is a whopping 59 percent of children who say they are upset by their parents' disconnect.

The survey was conducted by GfK this past summer and comprises the responses of more than 750 children whose ages ranged from eight to 14. The age range represents a key period in a person's life, with many kids beginning the transition into adulthood. 

That said, Gurian points out that everyone can benefit from more frequent family vacations. 

"One, you will be less stressed, so you’re just going to be a better parent," he said. "Two, your kids will get all of this time with you, all this bonding and attachment, making them more stable, secure, healthy kids."


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