Modern comunication spells bad news for families

June 06, 2011

Celebrity mum and daughter, Emma Forbes, has been talking to radio listeners across the country about the importance of really getting to know their parents. According to a new survey by The Co-operative’s Wills and Funeral Planning, modern communications may help people stay in touch with their parents but 1 in 4 admits they really know very little about their mums and dads.

A quarter of adults don’t even know about key events in their mum’s life, such as how she got engaged, the things she got up to at school or what she wanted to be when she was young. Dads are even more of a mystery to us with over two fifths admitting to not knowing the same facts about their dads.

The survey, part of Funeral Planning’s ‘Life is Amazing’ campaign, highlights the huge gap that exists in how well we know our parents and why this could leave us facing problems in later life.

Emma Forbes and Ian Mackie

Ian Mackie, Managing Director of The Co-operative Wills and Funeral Planning, said: “Of the 4,000 adults we surveyed, over 40 per cent don’t know if their mum has a special life ambition and, it gets worse, with 60 per cent not knowing if their dad has a lifetime goal.

“Sadly, over a third have never discussed, with either of their parents, the more practical matters like if they’ve arranged a Will or what kind of funeral their parents would want, despite it being their children who will most likely arrange it.”

With nearly a quarter of us now chatting to our mums through Facebook, 16 per cent of us social networking with our dads, and even 1 in 12 choosing to communicate with their parents via text, there is a worrying trend emerging that modern technology is having a dramatic effect on the quality of communication with our parents, which may have dramatic consequences in later life.

Urging people to get together and really connect, Ian continued: “Modern technology is not only changing the way we communicate but also the quality of communication. We can already identify the effect this is having on how well we know our parents, so I really hope we can encourage people to get to know each other better and maybe even quiz our parents a little.

“It may even give them an opportunity to discuss practical matters like wills and funeral planning, as both can be a great protection to everyone concerned, and a funeral plan can personalise and celebrate someone’s very special life.”

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