By Max Knoblauch // SWNS
New York office – 646-873-7565 / usnews@swns.com

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‘Always say please and thank you’, ‘no phones at the dinner table’ and ‘never go to bed angry’ are three of the top 10 most common house rules in America, according to new research.

A study examining how families manage their time at home and the house rules by which they live found that, in an increasingly distraction-filled world, family time is getting harder to come by.

The results showed that just 29 percent of families have a rule about mandatory time as a family. That’s despite 84 percent of parents agreeing that having regularly scheduled time would help their families spend more quality time together.

The new study of 2,000 American parents of school-aged children has uncovered that 85 percent of those surveyed also believe house rules are necessary for a comfortable life. However, 54 percent believe their household is more relaxed than the one they grew up in, while just one in six believe their house is more strict.

More than half (52 percent) of modern households have a curfew — typically around 8:30 p.m.

As for the most common rules, half of American households have a rule about saying please and thank you (50 percent), while 49 percent enforce a rule about kindness and 48 percent require all homework be completed before playtime.

If you have trouble keeping control of clutter, you’re not alone: putting things back where they were found is the most frequently broken house rule in America.  The other frequently broken house rules include cleaning up plates after eating (26 percent), no shouting (26 percent), and no looking at phones at the dinner table (24 percent).

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of A&W Root Beer , found that while families report spending time together through regular movie nights (62 percent) and regular meals together (61 percent), only 27 percent of families believe mandatory time together is the most important rule. That being said, 78 percent still wish they spent more time together.

“A&W Root Beer has been a part of a century of family memories, and while creating these traditions is timeless, when and how families spend time together has evolved,” said Derek Dabrowski, VP of Brand Marketing for A&W Root Beer. “While modern house rules may differ from family to family and from generation to generation, one thing has remained consistent – families are still seeking that quality time together.”

Schedules and technology distractions were cited as the biggest barriers to quality time as a family, according to the survey. Nearly three out of four respondents (72 percent) believe tech like phones, tablets, and other screens make it harder to connect as a family at home. Forty-six percent of the parents surveyed have a Netflix limit in their house. The limit? About three hours a day.

“To help families disconnect from outside distractions and reconnect with each other, we are calling on them to pledge to go to technology free for one hour on Friday nights this summer at www.rootbeer.com.  Anyone who participates will receive a free 2L of Root Beer to add some ‘pop’ to their family fun nights” added Derek Dabrowski, VP of Brand Marketing for A&W Root Beer.

THE TOP 10 MOST COMMON AMERICAN HOUSE RULES
Always say please and thank you                      50%
Always be kind                                                   49%
Complete homework before playing                  48%
Put things back where you found them              46%
Clean up plates after eating                               46%
Have dinner together as a family                       44%
No phones at the dinner table                            41%
Help carry in the groceries                                 37%
No shouting                                                        36%
No going to bed angry                                        34%

THE TOP 5 MOST FREQUENTLY BROKEN HOUSE RULES
Put things back where you found them                       28%
Clean up plates after eating                                        26%
No shouting                                                                 26%
No phones at the dinner table                                     24%
Complete homework before playing                            24%

THE TOP 5 FAMILY TIME ACTIVITIES
Having a regular meal together                         67%
Regular TV/Movie night                                     64%
Talking at the dinner table                                  59%
Family day trips at least once a month              58%
Cooking/preparing meals together                     53%

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