Results of Humanistic Parenting Survey

familyoffour.jpgHumanistic Parenting Survey Results

I posted this survey to get a better idea of what Humanist and Humanistic oriented parents are interested in. This was not a scientific survey, it was just a way to get more information that might be of use to those of us who are Humanist parents or who are interested in helping Humanist and Humanistic parents, as I am, raise their kids.

There were 70 respondents. 95% of which are parents. There were a couple of grandparents who responded and two who were not yet parents.   75% of the parents are raising kids younger than 5 yrs of age.  12% have kids 6 – 9 and another 13% have kids 10 to adult, which leads me to think that the parents who are looking for help are the parents with the youngest kids. Again, not a scientific poll, so it’s just a guess.

85% of the parents who responded are raising their kids without religion but 12% were either exposing their kids to religion or are raising kids in interfaith households.  2 parents are raising kids with religion.

It isn’t suprising that 78% of the parents were raised as Christians. This is after all an English language survey. But it was a bit suprising to find that 19% were raised as freethinkers. So there is a decent sized group of parents who were raised as freethinkers. Which is nice to know because I thought I was alone being raised that way.

Now for the meat and potatoes of the survey – what are we Humanist and Humanistic parents concerned about?  I thought it easiest to just give you a screen shot of the results.

Concerns of Humanistic Parents

The number one issue appears to be teaching our kids to think critically with the teaching of moral values (being ethical, compassionate and responsible) coming in a close second.  Of secondary concern is helping our kids cope with the fact they are coming from a Humanistic or freethought family. In other words, how do we help them sort out external religious influences and deal with religious relatives and how do we help them find friends who are also from a non-religious family.  Of very little importance seems to be teaching our kids atheism. Only 5 parents listed that as important.

As for what we think is important as parents – well, here is the chart for that.

Issues of importance for Humanistic Parents

This pretty much mirrors the concerns. We are concerned about critical thinking first and foremost with the moral values of compassion, responsibility, and ethics. Having fun and being creative also received a majority of respondents. Atheism was only listed as moderately important to the parents.  However, what I get from these numbers is that for the parent, being an atheist is moderately important to them as individuals, but it isn’t something they are necessarily pushing on their kids. The sense I get is that parents are more interested in teaching critical thinking skills and allowing their kids to decide for themselves what they want to believe. Again, need to stress, this was not a scientific survey.

The final questions had to do with how often do you participate in freethought events.  The answer is apparently not much with almost 50% having never participated in a freethought event. Only 23% participate in something regularly. However, 37% said they would participate in an online program. And another 50% were unsure if they would or not. So, for any freethought or Humanist organizers out there who are reading this summary, if we want parents and families – we need to study the needs of this community better in order to figure out what it is they need to become more involved.  My best guess is that more local family oriented events that fit a family’s schedule would be appreciated. Here is the image for that:

How often do Humanistic Parents participate in freethought events

Thanks to everyone who took the survey.
Jen Hancock

If you want more information and to be notified of Humanistic Parenting events and programs online – join my mailing list and be sure to specific you are interested in Humanistic Parenting. I give away a free ebook on Humanism and a report on how to help your child cope with bullying to everyone who signs up. (click here to join).

Also – feel free to check out my Humanistic Parenting website. I have resources for Humanistic parents and other information that might be useful.

Image of family at top courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net – it is called: "Family Of Four" by photostock