Footballers, not fathers, reign as Brit kids role models

December 3rd, 2007 - 3:53 pm ICT by admin  

London , Dec 3 (ANI): A study has revealed that a majority of British children do not think of their fathers when it comes to choosing their role models or sharing their grief.

According to the study, one child in four does not consider their father to be close family, more boys view footballers as role models than their fathers and only one child in 10 said they would go to their father first if they had a problem.

Campaigners have said that owing to family background and long working hours, fathers are not seen around as much as children would like.

The survey of 1,000 children aged between six and 12 was commissioned by the children’s news programme Newsround to mark its 35th anniversary.

The research showed that, even among traditional families, fathers are usually in the background of children’s lives than their mothers.

It discovered that a majority of children were happy, thought they had a better childhood than their parents, and believed Britain was a great place to live.

However, Newsround’s editor, Sinead Rocks, said the programme’s makers were “very surprised and a little disheartened” by the picture the survey painted of fathers in family life.

“Throughout the survey dads don’t come out overly-well, Telegraph quoted her, as saying.

On the whole, 26 per cent said they did not think of their father as immediate family.

The figure further escalated for children in lower socio-economic households, with one in three (33 per cent) saying their father did not count.

A large number of boys look up to footballers than their fathers as people to admire, with 25 per cent mentioning stars such as David Beckham as role models and only 14 per cent naming their fathers.

A meager 11 per cent of children would turn to their father first “if something went wrong”, with 76 per cent going to their mother.

Jon Davies, the chief executive of the charity Families Need Fathers, said the figures pointed to “a tragedy of national proportions”.

“Perhaps now politicians will wake up to the need to include all fathers in families,” said Mr Davies, a father and former primary school teacher.

The study came just after warnings from David Cameron, the Conservative leader, that family breakdown was at the heart of many social problems.

He vowed earlier this year to reintroduce tax incentives for marriage.

Contrary to popular belief, the Newsround survey also found that children preferred playing outside compared to online, by a margin of three to one.

Most (62 per cent) felt their parents worried about their safety too much.

However, 78 per cent said they were “happy” and 67 per cent thought Britain was “a great place to live”.

However children said the absence of their father in their growing up years was the main cause of their disillusionment from them. (ANI)

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