Wednesday, 19 September 2007

News from Nick Jr

Britain's children are not being told to "respect their elders"

New research reveals that only 25% of parents deem 'respect for authority' as an important family value.

Amidst fears that crime is taking over Britain's streets, a new survey by popular digital pre-school TV channel Nick Jr. shows that parents are no longer concerned for their children to 'respect their elders'.

The research, which canvassed over a thousand UK parents about their views on family values, reveals that only a quarter deem 'respect for authority' as an important value to instil in their children.

The study reveals a string of surprising findings, including the fact that religion is now seen as the least significant aspect of family life, with only 3% of parents thinking it important for their children. Additionally, with an ever-increasing divorce rate, it comes as no surprise that results indicate one in two parents don't consider the stability of family unit as an important value.

It’s not all doom and gloom as The Nick Jr. Family Values Report found that love and affection was chosen as the most important family value with 84% of the votes, closely followed by communication and quality time in second place with 64% of parents choosing this as their second most significant family value.

The report also revealed a distinct 'generation gap' between parents in different age brackets. Currently, one in five parents aged 16-24 see academic achievement as a top priority, whereas only 3.5% of over-55's feel the same way. The gulf between generations is also apparent in respondents’ views on mutual trust and integrity, with almost 50% of over-55’s claiming this is of merit compared with just 28% of parents aged 25-34.

Additionally, it was shown that 44% of parents believe kids today have more opportunities than they did when growing up, with only one in five parents aged up to 24 agreeing with this statement, rising to over half of 45-54 year olds. Despite this statistic indicating that younger parents are less optimistic about their offspring’s opportunities, a third of respondents aged 16-24 claim that their kids are having a happier childhood than they did and a quarter think their kids have more friends than they did.

‘These findings are intriguing due to the extremity of the results across the generations’, says Dr. Sandra Wheatley, a psychology consultant who specialises in the emotional aspects of family life. ‘Naturally you would expect to see some differences, but not almost a halving of the importance of something as central to family life as mutual trust and integrity. However, it is reassuring to hear that younger and older parents alike feel that love, affection and communication are valuable to a happy family life.’

‘It's interesting to note that younger parents don't perceive increased opportunities as leading to a happy childhood, which one might expect in a society that places such value on materialistic experiences - rather they seem to emphasise the contribution of emotional values such as love and compassion and having more friends.’

‘The family unit is certainly evolving and not necessarily in the way psychologists might predict.’

Nick Jr. is available on Sky 618, Virgin TV 715 and Tiscali TV

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