09/03/2012 12:23 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Kids Turn To Google To Answer Questions More Than Their Parents And Teachers

Child on laptop PA

A survey has found that kids use Google to find out the answers to their questions, rather than directing them at their parents or teachers.

The research, undertaken by Birmingham Science City, found that 54 per cent of UK kids said Google and other search engines were their first port of call when they needed to find something out. Only 26 per cent of children turned to their parents for answers, and as for teachers, they were only considered worthy of questioning by 2 per cent of kids!

The survey also discovered that children think their homework is far too tricky for their mums and dads, with 34 per cent saying their parents could not do it.

The findings revealed 91 per cent of young people use search engines, with 47 per cent of them using them at least five times a day.

Forty five per cent of the kids polled said they had never used a printed encyclopedia, whilst around a fifth had never used a dictionary.

Dr Pam Waddell from Birmingham Science City said that because children now grow up in an environment where digital technology is accepted as standard, the answers were not surprising:
"With answers at the touch of the button, youngsters often Google questions before asking parents, friends or teachers," she said.

"However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It shows just how commonplace digital technology is for children today and how comfortable they are with using it.

"Children, no matter what generation they grow up in, have an inquisitive and curious nature, and so the fact they are able to use new technology to explore this is a positive sign for the future."

Dave Lee, a technology reporter for BBC news told Parentdish we should be encouraging kids to use the web - but that we as parents should also be playing our part in broadening our children's knowledge:

"Many would put constant Googling by children as a sign of laziness, while also worrying about the accuracy of information found on the world wide web," he said, "But as Google's algorithms grow ever more sophisticated and reliable, it's no wonder that many children use it as their first port of call. Enabling pupils to grasp the power of the internet at a young age is to be encouraged.

"However, Google's search engine can of course only go so far. It may be able to tell you precisely when and how, for example, Martin Luther King died - but it takes good parent or a skilled teacher to explain why."

Do your children turn to you for answers? Do you disappoint them?