Where does water come from?, "why is the sky blue?" and "what is infinity?" are among the questions that parents struggle to answer for their children.
By Lucy Cockcroft
08 Jan 2010]
Another query that has tripped up mothers and fathers for generations is, "where do babies come from?".
Basic questions from children about the planet, outer space and the human body leave most parents unable to give a correct answer, according to a survey of 2,500 parents.
It also reveals some of the strategies and concocted stories parents use to tackle tough questions.
Top of the list is "how is electricity made?", "what are black holes?" and "what is infinity?".
Other baffling questions in the top ten include "why is the sky blue?" "why do we have a leap year?" and "how do birds fly?" and "where do babies come from?".
Of those who opt for myths instead of truths, seven in ten parents use the explanation that "babies are delivered by storks" and 23 per cent say "babies are found under gooseberry bushes".
Other popular answers include "babies come out of your tummy button", "I found them" and "babies are bought in Tesco at night on the top shelf by mums and dads only."
The survey also reveals the common age for parents to tell their children the truth about reproduction is 10 years old.
It also shows that parents find moral questions about God and religion hard to answer.
When asked "where do you go when you die?" four in ten parents told their children they go to either heaven or hell, with 25 per cent of parents saying that "you become an angel".
Meanwhile, one in six parents refuse to give their children a spiritual answer by telling them dead people are buried or cremated.
Other morally difficult questions included "why do people kill each other?", "why are some people born with disabilities?" and "why are people gay?".
The study reveals that modern day parents are increasingly turning to the internet to answer difficult questions from their children -56 per cent said they use the web.
One in ten parents admit to making up the answers as they feel too embarrassed to be shown up academically.
Four in ten parents confess to feeling inadequate when they don't know an answer and 63 per cent answer on a whim even if they think the answer may be wrong.
The survey was commissioned by the makers of a new TV programme What Do Kids Know?, to be broadcast on digital channel Watch on Sunday (Jan 10).
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