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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, 05:59 GMT
Parents urged to talk to children
family doing homework
The charity I Can urges parents to talk more to their offspring
Parents spend so much time at work, watching television or doing household chores that they do not make time to talk to their children, a survey finds.

The poll of over 1,000 parents for the charity I Can found 50% spent more than two hours a day watching TV and 36% spent more than two hours doing chores.

Only 32% spent the same amount of time talking to the children in the home.

Just 24% of Londoners and those in the south east of England chatted to children for more than two hours a day.

This compared to 49% of adults in Wales.


I Can chief executive Virginia Beardshaw said the results were concerning, but not surprising.

"There are so many demands put on us, particularly for us parents," she said.

"It is unrealistic for us to yearn for years gone by when we had more family time. 21st-Century life is here to stay and we acknowledge this."

Clinical psychologist and television presented Dr Tanya Byron said: "Communication skills are essential for healthy brain and behavioural development in children.

"They enable children to acquire vital social skills and help to maximise their potential in all aspects of learning.

"Nursery rhymes, songs, stories and happy chatter provide the firm foundations for our excellent future communicators."

I Can is launching a DVD offering tips for parents on how to maximise conversations with their children.

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