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Time spent together crucial to the health of family unitscomment (0)

March 9, 2003


The amount of time families spend together is increasingly being proven to affect the health of the family unit. Not only should parents take time out for fun with children, but they should also invest in their everyday routines, especially education.

A new survey finds American teenagers say support from parents is more important than the latest computer in helping them learn about science.

“As our children know, the latest technology is the oldest technology — brain power plus motivation,” said Professor Lester Thurow, an economist who chairs the Lemelson-MIT Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Ga. “Our study shows that kids still want attention, support and guidance from parents above all else.”

More than half of teens surveyed (55 percent) said encouragement from parents is a better idea than “buying computers, technology, and educational equipment,” according to an annual survey by the Lemelson-MIT Program.

The Lemelson-MIT Program was established in 1994 to inspire a new generation of American scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs through awards and educational programs. The findings are from a survey released Jan. 10.

“Spending quality time with your children — which can be very difficult to do these days — is extremely important,” said Colin Twitchell, the program’s “invention mentor” and director of the Lemelson Assistive Technology Center at Hampshire College in Amherst, Ma.

Other responses to the survey from teenagers on advice to parents were:

“Encourage children to do well in school” (55 percent).

“Ensure access for kids to books/learning materials” (39 percent).

“Help children with homework or school projects” (36 percent).

“Buy children equipment related to science” (35 percent).

“Take children to museums” (27 percent).

“Get involved with programs at their kids’ schools” (20 percent).

Responses to the survey from teenagers on advice to schools were:

“Better-equipped labs and workshops” (47 percent).

“Field trips to labs, universities and factories” (44 percent).

“More computers in school” (43 percent).

“More time to invent and create in class” (32 percent).

“More science and technology teachers” (19 percent).

This survey was conducted among 503 teenagers ages 12 to 17 in December 1999 by Roper Starch Worldwide Inc.


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