Parents: We Should Write Family Memories as Legacy for Our Kids – But Few of Us Manage To Do It — Father’s Day Survey Shows

Dear Readers,

A majority of parents and grandparents say they should write personal family history for their children and grandchildren. But only a minority actually plan to do it.

So shows my informal Father’s Day survey.

More than three in four respondents (77.8%) reported that parents and grandparents should write personal family history for the younger generation. Yet four in 10 (39.2%) say they planned to do it and never got around to it.

Nearly half the respondents (48.3%) say they lack the time to dedicate to writing personal family history, with 9.2% giving forgetfulness as a reason and 6.9% citing being “too tired.”

The multiple-choice, nine-question survey, conducted online through from April 3 to May 14, 2011, is based on 100 responses: 74.7% from mothers, 24.1% from fathers and 12.6% from grandparents.

In the survey, only 33% say they’ve learned “a lot” about family history from their parents and grandparents, with 27% saying “a little” and 42% “a moderate amount.” Yet they’ve repeated the pattern, with only 17.6% saying they’ve shared “a lot” about family history with their own children, 41.8% “a little” and 28.6% “a moderate amount.”

And fewer than one in four respondents (24%) say they learned family history through personal family writings handed down. As a result, children today may grow up knowing less about family history than previous generations. Asked, “Do children today know more about family history than previous generations knew?,” 59% said “no,” with only 14% saying “yes” and 21% saying “maybe.”

Even so, some parents may forge ahead. Asked, “What would motivate you to write your personal family history?” 36.4% named a combination of three factors – “leaving a legacy,” “rediscovering great memories” and “the opportunity for self-expression.”

Here’s the survey in its entirety:

Question of the day: What do you think of the survey’s findings?

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