Simplicity is key to making family life special

Article date: 20 February 2012

UK households may be brimming with gizmos and gadgets, but it’s bedtime stories and Sunday dinners that make family life special.

According to a new study of more than 2,000 families carried out by life insurer Aviva, ‘old school’ traditions are still at the heart of family life, with board games (54%) and sing-a-longs in the car (61%), playing an active part for the majority of UK families.

The insurer found that the typical UK family:

  • sits down to a family meal every weekend…
  • … but only 16% of children willingly help with the washing up!
  • mums and dads who drive take their children to an average of 11 play-dates, clubs and parties a month
  • those with young children spend an average of 100 minutes a week (equating to 87 hours a year) reading bedtime stories

The survey was carried out to support a new initiative to raise awareness of family protection with consumers. The research delves into what makes life special for the 84% of UK people who live as part of a family, and suggests that while we live in a technological age, it’s usually the simple things that make these moments magical.

That said, there’s evidence that children aren’t only interested in the simple things. Parents spend an average of £82 on each child’s birthday present and one in 20 families spend £250 or more!

But showing that some things never change, the study also revealed:

  • 75% of parents will let their children win when playing games
  • 51% of families still play i-spy
  • And ‘maths’ is far and away the most difficult subject when kids need help with their homework

Louise Colley, head of protection sales and marketing for Aviva and a mum to four-year-old twins says: “The fast pace of modern life means that sometimes we take everyday things for granted, but it’s really heart-warming to see that so many families still get a kick out of such basic things as going for a walk or watching a film together.

“At Aviva we’re committed to helping people take control of their finances so they can provide financial stability for their loved ones. We want to encourage people to think about how they can protect their families’ futures so they can keep the special things special - whatever the future holds.”

Customers can find out more about life insurance from Aviva by visiting or by contacting a financial adviser.

Aviva’s advertisement to raise awareness of the importance of family protection, featuring Paul Whitehouse can be seen on UK television screens from today.


If you are a journalist and would like further information or a case study, please contact the Aviva Press Office:

Sarah Poulter : 01904 452828 : 07800 691569 :
Notes to editors:

Aviva research conducted by YouGov research with 2,069 adults, 20-23 January 2012.

About Aviva:

Aviva is the world’s sixth largest* insurance group.  We provide 44.5 million customers with insurance, savings and investment products with total worldwide sales in 2010 of £47.1 billion**.
We are the UK’s largest insurer with over 14 million customers. Our combination of life, health and general insurance is unique in its scale and breadth in the UK market.  Customers can choose to buy our products through intermediaries, our corporate partners or from Aviva direct and we have become the partner of choice for many of the UK’s biggest organisations. 
We are ranked as one of the UK’s top ten most valuable brands and Aviva Plc are in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.  In 2010 we invested £4.3m into our communities in the UK, which included 1,500 Aviva volunteers giving 24,000 hours for good causes. In addition, our employees gave £600,000 through fundraising and donating. Read our corporate responsibility report at
Aviva is working in partnership with Railway Children through the Aviva Street to School programme to get children living or working on UK streets back into everyday life. Find out more at

The Aviva media centre at includes company information and a news release archive.
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*based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2010.
**at 31 December 2010.

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