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62 percent of kids think parents are too distracted to listen, survey says

According to a "Hightlights" magazine survey, 62 percent

According to a "Hightlights" magazine survey, 62 percent of kids think their parents are too distracted. Credit: iStock

Parents, you may want to listen more. According to a recent survey, 62 percent of kids say their parents are distracted when they try to talk to them, with cellphones topping the list.

"Highlights" magazine's 2014 State of the Kid survey polled 1,521 children ages 6 to 12, including both "Highlights" subscribers and non-subcribers, to share their thoughts about parental distraction, school and extracurricular activities. Twenty-eight percent of kids said cellphones distract their parents, followed by siblings (25 percent), work (16 percent) and TV (13 percent). Technology accounted for more than 50 percent of the responses. What's more, several of the kids surveyed said losing a cellphone would be a good thing because it would mean their parents would have more family time.

“Our intent is not to make parents feel guilty or to suggest that parents stop using technology,” said Christine Cully, editor-in-chief of "Hightlights" magazine. “Rather, our hope is that these results encourage parents to find those few precious minutes each day to unplug and engage in meaningful conversation with their children.”

So when do kids feel the best time to talk to their parents? Thirty-three percent said during a meal, 29 percent said bedtime and 18 percent said in the car. They also know when their parents are really listening to them when they look at them (56 percent), respond (28 percent) and stop doing everything else (11 percent).

The survey also found kids are excited about school, but also stressed. About 48 percent of kids feel worried or stressed at school, a feeling that is more prominent among girls (52 percent) and older kids (55 percent of 11-12 year olds). Tests are the number one reason (33 percent), followed by math class (17 percent) and bad grades (10 percent). The good news? Seventy-three percent of kids feel that working hard is more important than just being smart (23 percent).

The survey also found most kids, particularly girls, are involved in many extracurricular activities. Eighty-five percent of kids said they are involved in one or more non-school activities, with 90 percent of girls involved in activities than boys (80 percent).

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