Food for thought as spotlight falls on families

THE home life of most of the nation could be so different if only…. I learned some new home truths this week which may be of some interest to a wider audience. It amounts to changing your lifestyle for you and your loved ones to lead a better, more peac

THE home life of most of the nation could be so different if only....

I learned some new home 'truths' this week which may be of some interest to a wider audience.

It amounts to changing your lifestyle for you and your loved ones to lead a better, more peaceful life.

Researchers have revealed what they see as a clear link between the levels of exercise and the type of diet followed by a family, and the number of rows parents have with their offspring.


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Apparently, the average family has five rows a month. But those that sit down together at mealtimes have 30 per cent fewer arguments - saving themselves a little over half a row every four weeks or so, not to mention the raised blood pressure - while those who rarely or never dine as a family group have 6.34 arguments a month.

To save you working it out, this means that you save 23 blazing rows a year or more than 274 over a typical childhood.

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Nationally, with 6.4 million households across the UK with dependent children, there is the potential for a headache-inducing 384 million arguments a year.

But through sitting down with the family at mealtimes and - here's the important bit - eating more fruit and veg, there could be an annual reduction of up to 115 million arguments.

Can you visualise a great calmness settling over the country, thanks to a return to traditional values and a change from eating things which once used to breathe and walk around or swim in the sea?

Taking a closer look at the top family arguments as pinpointed by researchers, in number one spot is what to watch on TV. To solve almost half those, simply feed the kids fresh fruit and veg daily.

Cut rows over pocket money by a quarter by sitting down together for family meals.

If the difference of opinion is over school or homework, just go for a family walk and 45 per cent of them will be resolved.

Nearly a third of messy bedroom disputes can be sorted by playing outdoor games as a family. Isn't that a case of out of sight, out of mind?

The fifth top family argument is staying out late with friends. And half of those can be easily resolved by the simple expedient of....you should have guessed this one, it's ensuring that your children take part in sport.

The trouble is, there must be many, many parents who sit at home worrying that their kids who manage to flee the nest for a while are getting up to the wrong sort of 'sport' while staying out late with friends.

Another piece of research which hit my desk this week was the revelation that Britain's brainy babies are spending hours listening to classical music.

Forget about pop music, 44 per cent of parents claimed they regularly play Mozart to their youngsters.

Seventeen per cent preferred Beethoven while 10 per cent opted for Tchaikovsky (probably because of the Sugar Plum Fairy).

So now I know why babies lie on their backs waving their arms in the air. It's not involuntary muscular movement - they are conducting an imaginary orchestra.

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