A 10 year research project which followed the lives of 100 families with children has shown that the answer to the question "how many times have I told you kids?" can vary widely.
Lead researcher and mathematician Dr. Carl Fractal said he found the results of the study "disappointing" but accepted them based on the data. Dr. Fractal spoke at a news conference and stated "As a mathematician, I believe any question of 'how many' should have a concrete answer. How many? THIS many. The exception are mathematical equations for which the solution is infinity. But separate from those, it feels unsatisfying to obtain the results we did."
Dr. Fractal and his team observed 100 families over the 10 year span of the study. Some of the data was gathered with a member of the research team present with the family. Most was collected via video cameras which the families allowed to be placed in their homes.
At first the research team believed their method of collecting the data was flawed. At the end of the first week, they found the answer to the question varied from one (1) up to 17. By the end of the first month, the result was two to 157, and by the end of the first year the answer varied from two to 4,903.
When the team studied the data, they made a startling discovery - some children don't listen to their parents when the parent tells the child to stop doing something. Not only does the child not stop in that instant, but the child will return to the same behavior repeatedly, regardless of how many times they are told to stop.
"We were all very surprised by the findings" said Dr. Fractal. "When any of us tell a student to do something or stop doing something, the student complies. But that is simply not the case with children and parents in the home. Something is going on here, something we hope to discover as we continue our analysis."
One parent walking past the press conference, and totally oblivious to the fact that it was going on, was asked to express an opinion on the findings. The parent stated "No fucking kidding."