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Monday, February 28, 2005

Barna parenting study

Posted by: Hammer / 10:24 AM

The Barna Group aims to "partner with Christian ministries and individuals to be a catalyst in moral and spiritual transformation in the United States." One branch is devoted to research and just released a parenting survey:
Parents described what they feel are the most important outcomes they are devoted to helping their children experience. By far the top-rated outcome was getting a good education. Four out of every ten parents (39%) listed that as a critical outcome they were committed to facilitating.

Helping the child to feel loved was the second most frequently mentioned outcome (24%), followed by enabling them to have a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ (22%).

The only other outcomes cited by at least one out of ten parents were fostering a sense of security (16%), helping them to feel affirmed and encouraged (14%), providing a firm spiritual foundation (13%), and delivering basic necessities such as shelter (12%) and food (10%). Ten percent also said it was crucial to help their children feel happy (10%).

The language and format of the questions was not disclosed. I'm struck by the fact that education is deemed so much more important than food or happiness. I'm guessing that most parents have plenty of food for their kids and therefore never consider the importance of providing it for their kids. I'm also guessing that most parents think that happiness is beyond their control -- you can put a kid through college, but you can't send her to happy camp. If I'm wrong, we should have a lot more scurvy-ridden malcontents reading Oedipus Rex in the original Greek.

Even more curiously, the study ignores every parent's one true aim: to produce professional athletes who lavishly supports their parents from the day they turn pro.


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