Saturday 20 January 2018

Parents 'dread' science questions

Most parents would be happy explaining where babies came from, a poll showed
Most parents would be happy explaining where babies came from, a poll showed

Parents would rather their children asked them where babies come from than why the sky is blue, a poll has indicated.

The Shell Education Service survey hosted on the Mumsnet website reveals many parents dread being asked science-based questions, with nearly one in five (18%) hardly ever talking to their offspring about the subject.

Almost one in three (29%) said they would not know how to answer if their child asked "Why is the sky blue?". More than one in five (21%) said they would struggle with "Why does the car work?".

The third most difficult question is "Why can birds fly?" chosen by 15% of parents, followed by "What is water made of?" (10%) and "How do fish breathe?" (9%).

Just a third (32%) regularly talk to their children about how science works, explaining ideas such as why steam comes out of a boiling kettle.

Just 1% of parents said they would be stumped if asked "Where do babies come from?", the poll found.

Almost all (99%) of parents said it would help their child's progress in science if they talked to them about the subject at home. One in 10 (10%) of the parents questioned said they do not talk to their child about science because they do not feel qualified to do so.

Rachel Foster, associate editor of Mumsnet, said: "Some parents worry about giving the wrong answer to some of the more difficult science questions asked by their children, and as a result are avoiding discussing the subject altogether. Mumsnetters are always looking for fun and educational things to do with the family, particularly over the long summer holiday and this new booklet from Shell presents a great opportunity for families to learn together while also having fun."

Press Association

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