I don't know if it's the same all over the world, but in central Europe it seems to be a tradition that every slightly music-interested child has to play the recorder to start.
Parents seem to find the recorder the most awesome instrument in the world and that their child will be a big musician because he/she learned the recorder!
I don't see the big deal with the recorder, I was forced to play it myself and I really can't see why it was important that I learn it. I play the guitar now (since almost 8 years) and I didn't see a connection to the recorder during my whole learning-process...
So why do parents adore this instrument so much? Does it really help to improve something?