RMHC 2nd Family Togetherness Survey

RMHC’s 2nd Family Togetherness Survey (Ipsos, 2019) asked 2,013 Canadian parents how they felt about their family life – from their overall satisfaction, to how they spend their time together. We found that as a whole, Canadians put a high value on family time, but due to increasing pressures of money and time, Canada’s definition of family time is changing.

Here are Some of the
Highlights of the Survey

91% of Canadian parents are satisfied with their family life.

Canadians recognize the value of strong family relationships and quality time together on their satisfaction with family life – 72% of Canadians chose strong relationships with their kids as the #1 reason they were satisfied with their family life, while 62% chose spending quality family time together as the top contributor to family life satisfaction. Those who were satisfied with their family life spend on average 7 hours more a week together as a family than Canadians who weren’t satisfied with their family life.

Mealtimes are the #1 way that families spend time together.

42% of parents said having meals together was the most important activity for keeping their family close, and those who agree they spend quality time together are more likely to mention having meals together. Canadians also reported that the importance of having meals together as a family increased as children grew older; 46% of parents with children aged 13 – 17 said that having dinner together was the most important activity to keep their families close, compared to 37% of parents with children aged 5 and under.

Technology is changing the definition of quality family time.

Three out of four Canadians (76%) watch movies or videos as part of family quality time together, while 39% of parents with kids aged 3-12 say that gaming together is a way they spend quality time. As technology becomes more ingrained into our daily lives, families will continue to adapt with the times.

Want to know more?

Find the full survey results here

Expert Tips to Make the Most out of Your Family Time Together

For most, spending time together doesn’t cost a dime; eating meals together, watching movies or videos and engaging in play are reported in RMHC’s Family Togetherness Survey as the most common ways that families spend time together. The Survey experts cite several benefits to children and parents who regularly participate in these rituals and traditions and offer tips for families to make the most of that time.

Nourish Strong Bonds at the Family Table

There isn’t a magic number of family meals you should eat together but the benefits increase every time you gather as a family. When parents sit down with their children, it creates another opportunity to connect and form strong family bonds. Learn expert tips to get your clan to the table as often as possible. Learn expert tips to get your clan to the table as often as possible.

Make Screen Time Engaging and Fun

With busy schedules at work, school, parents and children alike are looking to relax and choosing to watch television, movies and videos. As digital technologies insert themselves into every aspect of our lives, is there a reason to be worried that family time will fade away? Find ways to make this time engaging and fun. Find ways to make this time engaging and fun.

Learn Together Through Play

Play helps with learning and school performance and offers children a chance to problem solve and test new ideas and behaviour in a safe environment. Gather ideas for age-appropriate ways to enrich your family bonds and create lasting memories. Gather ideas for age-appropriate ways to enrich your family bonds and create lasting memories.

While spending time together is important to all families in Canada, family time becomes all the more precious when you have to travel far from home for your sick child’s treatment. In Canada, 65% of families live outside a city with a children’s hospital, and have to travel for treatment if their child becomes sick. That’s why Ronald McDonald House Charities gives families a place to stay together close to the hospital where their child is being treated.


Meet the Garniss Family.

The Garniss Family stayed at Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario for 35 nights. When Lauren, now six months old, was born with bowel obstruction and had to be rushed to the hospital over an hour away from her hometown for life-saving surgery, her mom and dad stayed just steps from her bedside at Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario. “Staying at Ronald McDonald House meant that when we needed to rest or eat, we could have a warm and welcoming place to go to that was literally a minute away from the hospital,” says Lauren’s mom Kim. Family time becomes all the more precious when you are far from home and the mom of three says, “at Ronald McDonald House, I could be somewhat normal with my family and sit together and eat and play with the kids. I had no idea you could feel this warmth when you’re going through such struggle. It’s a family here—it is truly a home away from home.” Now that Lauren is no longer in the hospital and life with three kids is ‘back to normal,’ Kim and her husband Mike say, “for our family, 'being together' means living in the present moment when all five of us are in the same place laughing, loving and sharing each other’s experiences. We know that time is precious and our time together reminds us that that we can count on each other and that we are all together to respect and help each other when needed.” Last year, Ronald McDonald Houses and Family Rooms helped keep 25,250 families close to their sick child. Find Our Impact here.

Meet More RMHC Families