generational changes

Most Parents No Longer Care If They Become Grandparents

A new Pew Research survey reveals parents care more about their children's mental and financial health.

A new study has found that most parents don't care much about whether their kids have kids.
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It’s safe to say that most children with boomer parents were coached their entire life to get good grades, go to college, start a career and then a family and pop out a bunch of kids. How many of you can count on both hands the amount of times your mom or mother-in-law has asked when she’s getting a grandchild?

While grandchildren may be the top hopes for boomers, most parents from newer generations don’t even have that on their radar when it comes to their children’s futures.

A new survey from the Pew Research Center suggests parents are concerned about their children’s mental health, financial stability, and job satisfaction over other societal markers of life success such as getting married, having kids, or getting a college degree.

Pew Research surveyed 3,757 U.S. parents with children younger than 18 for the study and found that 4 in 10 parents were extremely or very worried about their children struggling with anxiety or depression, with their kids being bullied their next biggest concern.

Researches attributed these stats to “the COVID-19 pandemic and amid reports of a growing youth mental health crisis.”

Unsurprisingly, by significant margins, mothers are more likely than fathers to worry about most of these things, according to the survey.

Almost half the parents surveyed noted that it is not too important or not important at all to them if their children get married or have children. Parents of newer generations would much rather their kids find a job that makes them happy and be financially stable and independent than to see them settle down with a spouse and kids.

When asked about their aspirations for their children when they reach adulthood, parents prioritize financial independence and career satisfaction. Roughly 9/10 parents surveyed said it’s extremely or very important to them that their children be financially independent when they are adults, and it’s equally important that their children have jobs or careers they enjoy.

This compares to 21% and 20% who say getting married or having children when they grow up is very important.

One 46-year-old-father in the survey told TIME that he was raising his children “with [an] emphasis on academic performance and attaining intellectual potential.”

The survey also asked parents about their concerns regarding their kids getting in trouble with police. Turns out parents were least concerned with this issue. 67% said they were “not too” or “not at all” worried while 54% said they were not worried about their kids getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant as a teen.

Another interesting takeaway from the survey revealed that parents also rated most highly that their children were honest and ethical with 94% saying it was extremely or very important over other factors like sharing the same religious beliefs 35% or political beliefs 16%.

Read the entire Pew Research survey here.