June 2005

Successful Parenting Survey

What do parents think they need to do to be successful at parenting? What do parents want most for their children? The Barna Group, a research company that focuses on trends regarding culture and core beliefs, recently surveyed parents on these two questions. Here are some of their findings:

Question: What makes parents successful?
36% of those surveyed said patience.
32% said demonstrating love.
20% said having a significant faith commitment to religious beliefs.

Question: What are the most important outcomes for raising children?
39% of those surveyed said getting a good education.
24% said helping a child to feel loved.
22% said helping a child to have a meaningful relationship with Christ.

Question: Do parents teach their children that there are moral absolutes that must always be obeyed?
43% of those surveyed said there are some moral absolutes.
45% said there are no moral absolutes.

George Barna, who directed this research survey, says that the faith commitments of Christian parents didn't seem to make much difference in how they were raising their children. But earlier research has indicated that most people accept Christ when they are young or not at all.

Christian parents need to be intentional in nurturing their children's spiritual development. Christian parents can do this by modeling a lifestyle of discipleship and by helping their children develop habits of prayer, Bible reading, worship and service. They also can use the events of everyday life as opportunities to integrate faith and life so that their children will learn to see through spiritual "glasses."

For more on this topic we recommend the book, Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions by George Barna. If you would like to read more about this survey or other research conducted by the Barna Group, check out their website at www.barna.org.

This page can be found at http://kidscorner.reframemedia.com/parents/article/june-2005