National Family Week, the largest coalition on family matters, commissioned a poll amongst 3000 parents and 1000 children exploring current perceptions of both parents and children and issues facing modern family life in the UK.
Parents hugely overestimate the role family plays in children’s lives with 66% of parents thinking they are the main influence compared to just 49% of children recognising parents as playing an influential role in their life. The influence of friends and technology are hugely underestimated by parents with 28% of school-age respondents citing Facebook as most important to them over and above money, health, sport, pets and school whilst only 23% of parents credit technology as having any impact.
The average age of the children surveyed was just 11, of which 32% stated that technology had a bigger influence on them over and above siblings, school, celebrities, mainstream media, siblings and grandparents . . Parents typically think the media, celebrities and school play the most influential role on their children above technology.
Gender and living situations also impact the role technology and social netowrking plays in a child’s life. Interestingly, those that live only with their mum find Facebook more important (62%) than those that live with just their dad (10%) or both parents (7%). In addition to this, 40% of girls choose Facebook as one of the most important things in their life compared to just 6% of boys.
Whether the rising influence of technology is synonymous with the attitude children have about spending time with family is likely. Children see the biggest barrier to spending time with family being boredom, whilst for parents it’s money which may suggest that spending time together when all at home is not a priority. 65% of children are happy to spend time at home with family rather than go out, but parents cite days out, which would again be rare, as the best example of quality time. Only 7% of children, though, would rather do other things than spend time with their family but barely half of parents spend enough time with family.
National Family Week is the UK’s largest celebration of family life, taking place this year between 31 May and 6 June and takes place every year to encourage families to spend more time together providing a huge range of special offers and savings on products, activities, days out and more, which should be received well by children as more than half of those surveyed (52%) said they would like to go on more outings with their family.
The summer half term holiday will see the return of activities including the Family Week Picnic, Family Week Film Day, Family Week Story Time and Family Week Sports Day, with fun family features like a Guinness World Record Attempt for the largest three-legged race and a UK exclusive preview of Shrek Forever After, one month ahead of its general release, locked in for 2010’s Week of family fun. National Family Week 2010 is summer’s ‘must-do’ family event.
Backed by all major political parties, National Family Week is the largest coalition on family issues in the UK, with over 180 national and thousands of local organisations on board including charities, councils, sports associations and community groups. The initiative celebrates the diversity of the modern day family, championing the benefits of quality family time and encouraging a healthier and more active approach to family life.