One New Year’s resolution that should be on every parent’s list is to talk to their kids about health related issues in 2013. Parents have more influence in a child’s development than anyone else, and discussing their views on health helps to shape their child’s behavior. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky released results from its Kentucky Parent Survey about how often parents talk to their children about certain health issues. The survey found that:
· More than half (53%) had shared their views on smoking or tobacco use with their child often or all the time.
· Nearly 2 in 3 (62%) of parents with older children said they discussed their views on drug use often or all the time during the past year.
· Just 1 in 5 (21%) of parents of older children said they had discussed their views on birth control with their child often or all the time during the past year.
“This is a New Year’s resolution that parents can keep,” said Susan Zepeda President/CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “Talk to your children about your views on dating and substance use and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”
Studies show that parental monitoring and engagement can deter children from unhealthy behaviors and help improve their academic achievement. The Kentucky Parent Survey also asked parents about spending time with their kids and how they learn to be good parents.
Additional Kentucky Parent Survey highlights reveal:
· About 1 in 3 parents (33%) said they had played a sport, played a physical game or exercised with their child on 5 days during the preceding week.
· More than half (54%) reported watching television with their child on at least 5 days during the past week.
· Nearly half (48%) indicated they eat meals together as a family every day (national average is 46%)
· About 2 in 3 (67%) said their child was responsible for completing a household chore on at least 5 days during the past week.
· Eight in ten parents (80%) said that they spent at least 20 minutes talking with their child each day during the week prior to the survey.
· The main places where Kentucky parents turn for information on parenting are the mass media (30%); their parents, family, and friends (27%); and the internet (21%)
· When asked where they would look for information to keep their child healthy or to help him if he is sick, the main places named were health professionals (47%); the internet (25%); and their parents, family, and friends (17%).
“Raising a child is important, challenging work – and it is a job that we believe Kentucky parents are committed to doing well. The Kentucky Parent Survey shows that majority of parents are engaged in their child’s life – sharing meals, watching television and talking,” noted Zepeda, “but parents were a little less likely to report playing actively with their kids. Perhaps we should all resolve to be more physically active with our kids and have a little more fun in 2013.”
The Kentucky Parent Survey assessed the views of parents, step-parents, grandparents, foster parents or other legal guardians of children in Kentucky.
The Parent Survey was conducted in July and August by the Center for Survey Research at the University of Virginia. More than 1,000 parents and guardians of children under 18 from throughout the state were interviewed by phone. The survey has a margin of error of ±3%.
Overall, the Kentucky parent survey provides a snapshot of parental views on a number of issues including health care, school and home life. The final parent survey will be released in late January and will include data from parents on the high school dropout age issue