"We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention."
- - Gordon B. Hinckley
April 23, 2014
Parenting: By the Numbers
by Emily S. Jorgensen

Here are the numbers of parenthood. Some of these numbers are personal to my experience of having four children and two miscarriages. Most others are data I either computed or found from reputable sources.

  • Time spent pregnant: About 3.5 years

  • Time spent breastfeeding: 5.75 years

  • Time I will spend raising my children until they have all reached adulthood: 27 years

  • Number of diapers an average child will use before being potty-trained: about 7000

  • Number of times a parent will find himself with a child’s poop somewhere on himself: too many times.

  • Age at which a child is approximately half his adult height: 2 years old (mayoclinic.org)

  • Number of words an average child can say by his birthday: 100

  • Number of words in the vocabulary of a typical four-year-old: more than 1000 (National Institute of Health)

  • Age at which children ask more questions than they do at any other age: 4 years old (nih.gov)

  • Number of years when a child unquestionably accepts what a parent tells them: only the first 6 (askdrsears.com)

  • Age at which a sense of right and wrong begin to develop: about 2 years old (though this number is constantly debated)

  • Age at which a child has developed a strong personal sense of right and wrong: 7-10 years (this appears to be universally accepted)

  • Average amount of time fathers spend caring for their children per week: 7.3 hours (Pew Research)

  • Average amount of time mothers spend caring for their children per week: 13.5 hours (Pew Research)

  • Number of hours the average American child spends in school per year: 1,260. That’s about 35 hours a week while school is in

  • Average amount of time kids 9 and under spend watching TV per week: 35 hours, or about 5 hours a day. This does not include time on tablets or other smart devices (entertainment.time.com quoting a study published by Nickelodeon in 2013)

  • Amount of daily screen time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics: 1-2 hours per day.

  • Average amount of time US adults spend watching TV per week: 46 hours (nielsen.com)

  • Average amount of time US adults spend using Smartphone apps per week: 8.5 hours (nielsen.com)

  • Number of Saturdays from birth until a child turns 18 years old: 936

  • Number of Saturdays from birth until age 5: 260

  • Percentage of children 9 and under reporting a desire to spend more time with their parents: 80% (entertainment.time.com)

  • Length of time childhood lasts: The blink of an eye. Make it matter.


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About Emily S. Jorgensen

Emily Jorgensen received her bachelor's degree in piano performance from Brigham Young University. She earned her master's degree in elementary music education, also at BYU. She holds a Kodaly certificate in choral education, as well as permanent certification in piano from Music Teacher’s National Association.

She has taught piano, solfege, and children’s music classes for 17 years in her own studio. She has also taught group piano classes at BYU.

She is an active adjudicator throughout the Wasatch Front and has served in local, regional, and state positions Utah Music Teachers' Association, as well as the Inspirations arts contest chair at Freedom Academy.

She gets a lot of her inspiration for her column by parenting her own rambunctious four children, aged from “in diapers” to “into Harry Potter.” She is still married to her high school sweetheart and serves in her ward’s Primary.

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