Bridging the confidence gap—what it takes to meet today’s parenting challenges
Parents in 2019 have a lot on their plate. New challenges like monitoring screen time and social media shaming are raising anxiety, and the lack of fundamental support systems means parents are taking on more on their own.
KinderCare, in partnership with the Harris Poll, asked a cross section of parents about the things that give them confidence, and the things that undermine it. The 2019 Parent Confidence Survey found that most parents agree that being confident is important to be a good parent, but only about one in three parents feel very confident on a typical day. And 70 percent of parents agree that it is harder to raise a child today than a decade ago.
So if you feel your confidence is waning, you’re not alone. Here are some of the key elements that are impacting confidence in today’s parents, and some ideas on how to address them.
Lack of support
If it takes a village to raise a child, our villages need to step up:
• 70% of parents feel that they’re expected to do it all without fundamental support systems
• 67% of parents say employers should offset the cost of child care for employees
• 55% of parents believe universal child care from birth to kindergarten should be offered through the government
• 55% of parents are willing to take a pay cut to work for a company that provides quality care
Employers have a big part to play in providing this fundamental support. Offering child care and other family-friendly policies does more than attract and retain employees. It brings work to life. It pushes workplace culture forward. KinderCare at Work
helps employers implement these life-changing (and work-changing!) benefits.
Learn More: Want to Retain Talented Employees? One Word: Childcare
Parents are fighting a battle to limit screen time:
• 1 in 3 parents say managing screen time with their child detracts from their confidence as a parent
• 63% of parents say monitoring their child’s digital and social media habits is making parenting harder today than it used to be
• 68% of parents say digital distractions are getting in the way of parent-child bonding moments
• Parents say the #1 issue detracting from their child’s self-confidence is too much screen time
As children develop the critical-thinking skills they need to make good lifestyle choices, they need to learn to make safe digital choices. Look for opportunities for children to become active creators, rather than passive consumers of technology. Our teachers can work with families to set and reinforce limits on screen time, actively engage with online experiences, and make tech-free zones part of their home and life.
Learn More: Parents Feel They're Losing the Screen Time Battle
Judgment and social media shaming
Parent confidence is taking a hit from judgment from society and via social media on their parenting choices and skills.
• 47% of parents say social media comparisons make parenting harder
• 38% of parents say judgment from society make parenting harder
• 66% of parents feel that expectations around parenting are exhausting
• 54% of parents feel that expectations are unrealistic
Parents believe that practicing self-care can raise their confidence. They also see being involved in a like-minded community as a good way to become more confident. Sharing a common experience can teach parents that they are doing better than they might think.
Learn More: Hey Siri, How Can I Be a Good Parent?
• 1 in 4 parents say an overload of parenting information detracts from their confidence
• 55% of parents say “it is often difficult to know if I am doing the best thing for my child”
The first step is for parents to tune out the noise and find trusted sources of information. Again, spending time with parents who share common experiences can lead to reliable information resources. When parents feel more confident, they can do more to build confidence in their children. Early childhood education plays an essential role in helping children develop the confidence it takes to grow and thrive.
Learn More: Daily Life and Digital World Undermine Parent Confidence