A Unicef report has advised parents to avoid placing children in a "cycle of compulsive consumerism" by using presents to compensate the fact that "typical" working mothers spend as little as 19 minutes a day with their kids.
Recently released Office of National Statistics data supports the increasing amount of research being conducted by child psychologists into the problem of "time-neglect".
David Bull, chief executive of UK Unicef said: "Our research shows British parents are committed to their children, but lose out on time together as a family due, in part, to long working hours.
"They often try to make up for this by showering children with gadgets and clothes."
Unicef's research suggested that most children want more "stable family time" but longer work hours and childcare concerns have made this increasingly difficult to achieve, especially for more affluent families.
Professor Suniya Luthar has just completed research that shows the numbers of teenagers with significant mental health issues can be up to three times higher among those from high-achieving and prosperous families
"The view is that these children have it all, but the pressures on them are immense," she said, before adding that for all those celebrating during this festive period, "Time is the best gift any parent can give."
|Picture posed by model|