WebMD Medical News
Louise Chang, MD
Oct. 31, 2007 -- Today's parents are more involved in reading to their kids,
setting child TV limits, and eating meals with their kids, compared with
parents a decade ago.
The findings come from the Census Bureau's latest figures on parental
involvement in various aspects of kids' lives, including reading, TV limits,
and family breakfasts and dinners.
Those figures, gathered in 2004, show an increase since 1994 in children and
teens who had limits on their TV content and hours.
In 2004, such limits were in place for 47% of teens, 70% of kids aged 6-11,
and 68% of kids aged 3-5.
In comparison, in 1994 those rules were in place for 40% of teens, 60% of
kids aged 6-11, and 54% of kids aged 3-5.
Likewise, the percentage of children read to seven or more times per week
rose between 1994 and 2004.
In 2004, 53% of kids aged 1-2 and 51% of kids aged 3-5 were read to seven or
more times per week.
Ten years earlier, 48% of kids aged 1-2 and 47% of kids aged 3-5 were read
to by a parent at least seven times weekly.
The Census Bureau's new report also shows that 74% of kids younger than 6
are praised by a parent at least three times daily. So are 54% of children aged
6-11 and 40% of adolescents aged 12-17.
In addition, most young children eat breakfast and dinner with a parent
every day during a typical week, though those percentages taper off for older
kids and teens.
The Census Bureau didn't track parental praise for children or family meals
SOURCES: U.S. Census Bureau: "A Child's Day: 2004 (Selected Indicators
of Child Well-Being)." U.S. Census Bureau: "A Child's Day: Home,
School, and Play (Selected Indicators of Child Well-Being)," 1994. News
release, U.S. Census Bureau.
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