February 26, 2009Leadership, Research

New Research on Parenting

I just finished a meeting with one of our smartest LifeWay employees, Selma Wilson, who has a much better office than I have. (Just sayin'.)

When I came back to my office, I found this story which includes some research we recently completed on parenting.

Most American parents feel their parenting skills and family life are pretty good, but they are reluctant to describe their homes as peaceful, relaxed or joyful and their daily family time consists mostly of eating dinner and watching television, according to a new study from LifeWay Research. While most parents are trying to improve their skills, far fewer look to the church or the Bible for help...

Sixty percent of parents look a lot to their own experiences growing up as their source of guidance on parenting and another 31 percent do so to some extent.

By comparison, 21 percent indicate they receive a lot of guidance from a sacred text and 15 percent depend a lot on a church. A full 61 percent completely ignore parenting seminars and 53 percent have no use for books by religious parenting experts.

Only 14 percent indicate they are very familiar with what the Bible has to say about parenting, the research revealed. Twenty-seven percent of Protestant parents are very familiar with what the Bible has to say about parenting compared to only 7 percent of Catholic parents. Among parents with evangelical beliefs, 52 percent say they are very familiar with the Bible's parenting advice...

Among parents who attend religious worship services weekly, 38 percent indicate they get no encouragement from a sacred text such as the Bible, Torah or Koran and 24 percent report getting no encouragement from their church or place of worship. Forty-three percent of Protestant parents and 85 percent of Catholic parents do not receive encouragement from a sacred text. As for their church, 39 percent of Protestant parents and 71 percent of Catholic parents say it is not a source of encouragement as a parent.

[Scott] McConnell concluded, "Christians are routinely neglecting biblical guidance and encouragement in their parenting today, relying instead on their own personal experience."

Selma Wilson and her husband Rodney have written The Parent Adventure, along with our Associate Director of Research Scott McConnell, that includes some of this data. Be sure to click on the whole article here and you can get book info here. Maybe, just maybe, the authors will agree to come and be interviewed on my little old blog.

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