Friday 28 October 2016

Children ask 'why' eight times a day and parents don't know answer more than half the time

Children ask 'why?' eight times a day, but parents are unable to respond more than half the time, a survey has found.

Almost half (47pc) of parents with children aged three to 10 noticed an increase in the number of questions during journeys, according to research by Read On. Get On., an organisation promoting literacy.

Parents find 'how long will it take?' and 'what happens when you die?' the most challenging questions to answer, followed closely by 'where do babies come from?'.

Science also presents a challenge. A quarter of parents admitted they were flummoxed by questions from budding Einsteins, including 'why is the sky blue?' and 'how many stars are there in the sky?'.


But while nearly half (48pc) of parents took the time to look up answers to their child's queries, one quarter (26pc) admitted to being creative with the truth.

DJ and mother-of-two Lauren Laverne, who is backing the campaign, said her children's philosophical questions were "really above her pay grade".

"My youngest is very imaginative. He always asks 'are we alive or is this a dream?'."

Speech and language therapist Kate Freeman said 'why?' questions were crucial to a child's development.

"If children don't have strong language skills at age five they can get left behind when they start school and struggle with learning to read.

"That's why it's so important for adults to chat with children to help them develop essential language skills."

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