Working mothers in Britain spend only 81 minutes a day with their kids, a new report has found.

That compares with two hours 35 minutes non-working mothers can dedicate to meals, bath times and playing games, the report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found.

Family campaign groups said that the emotional development of children was being damaged, due to the increased pressure on women to work long hours out of the home.

But psychologists said it was more important how the time was used, rather than the amount of time itself, and that 81 minutes provided plenty of time for bonding provided activities were fun.

Speaking in the Sunday Telegraph, family and child psychologist Dr Sandra Wheatley, said: "I don't think parenting is a numbers game - the important thing is that children get opportunities to have fun with their parents.

"If a mother gets home from work and spends 45 minutes haring around the living room dressed up as a belly dancer, or making drums out of yoghurt pots, before a quick dinner and bed, that could easily be good enough.

"The important thing is that some of the time is spent on activities that are child-led."

Posted by Robert Mair on 28.3.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com