Scots holding firm to Sunday family values despite technology

IN an age dominated by Twitter feeds, Blackberry emails and advanced games consoles, it might have become one of the early casualties.

But the Sunday family gathering appears to be holding its own, with even a return to the traditional roast.

Half of Scots say they now spend more time with their family than they did ten years ago, according to a survey of contemporary Sundays.

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But 58 per cent of those asked found it increasingly harder to distinguish Sunday from any other day of the week, with chores, working and spending time on the internet all prominent activities. Only 42 per cent said they still view Sundays as special and keep it that way.

Food still features heavily, with 78 per cent putting time aside for a roast. However, the survey of 200 families, by the sparkling drink brand Shloer, found 51 per cent admitted checking their Facebook, Twitter and emails up to three times on a Sunday to keep up with work, friends, and family.

One family which ensures Sunday is set aside for quality time is Leanne and Ricky Beggs from Dalgety Bay, Fife.

Leanne, 30, a graphic designer, and Ricky, 31, an accountant for RBS, ensure they go cycling or take a walk with sons Calum, 6, and Conor, 2, before a family meal.

“After a late breakfast or early lunch we get on our bikes and cycle to Aberlour and back,” said Leanne, “just for a couple of hours and always together. Calum is only allowed computer games at the weekends, but we do limit it and it’s early morning and with something like Mario Kart we can all play.”

The family have a roast dinner every three weeks, but ensure they eat together every Sunday. Weekdays are busy and Saturdays get taken up by shopping, Leanne says.

Historian Dominic Sandbrook, who has authored books charting the changes in society, said the move away from the traditional Sunday is linked to having more options and activities available. “How people spend their time on Sundays changed most dramatically when the Sunday shopping law was passed in 1994,” said Sandbrook.

“This really opened up the different types of Sundays that we see today. What was once a day for doing very little and staying at home can now be spent doing many different things. Whether it is spending time with family and friends, relaxing at home, shopping, eating out or having some time to yourself, people have more options today.”