Parental Fears

Stressed-parents Frank Luntz has some interesting findings from a recent poll that he conducted on 600 parents.

Parents are worried about their kids' futures. "Only 12 percent of parents say they are living in worse conditions
than their parents, yet 44 percent believe their children will have it
worse than them." He also found that:

  • 78 percent are "concerned about the values and behavior of the children who interact with my child."
  • 49 percent say "my life is filled with stress and anxiety."
  • 42 percent acknowledge that "my kids are exposed to negative influences in their personal relationships."

I wonder if these anxiety levels are higher than in the past. Are parents more stressed out now than they were during similar times when the economy was in the toilet?

Access to technology was a major concern. A majority (54 percent) believe their kids "are exposed to negative influences on the web, email, and texting."

Actually, I'm surprised. I would have guess that more than 54 percent of parents were stressed out. But I'm stressed out about a lot of things. Don't even talk to me about bedbugs.

5 thoughts on “Parental Fears

  1. Bedbugs are going to save Medicaid and public health insurance. Fear of bedbugs will lead to less plush and upholstered furniture to take away the bugs hiding places. This will making sitting less comfortable, so people will stand. Since people are standing, they may as well go for a walk as standing still hurts your back. Before you know it, everyone will be healthy.


  2. I feel like I’m way more worried than my parents were. I often felt like they should be worried more. Here are my concerns:
    -Kids spending too much time online–not so much worried about the content. Despite my efforts to limit this, the older they get, the harder it is.
    -Kids missing out on opportunities because they’re not making straight As.
    -Drugs and alcohol
    -That we screwed them up already and now it’s too late.


  3. “That we screwed them up already and now it’s too late.”
    Ah yes, the worry of teen parents everywhere. I think it happens ’cause as they get older, you loose that ability to *think* you’re controlling them. Right now, I do get, mostly to limit the amount of time my daughter plays sims on the computer, or that my son watches television. I can see that power disappearing, though. I’m trying to grasp now that a lot of what my children will be is up to them, and not up to me.
    My big worry is a values conflict, one where I fear that the skills they need to succeed (and I am thinking success in big terms) aren’t the values I want to teach them, and that the values I do want to teach them might actually handicap them in the world competition.
    I would have hated to answer questions like those in the survey, but I guess I’m saying the same kind of things (about negative influences, and peers, etc.).


  4. I try not to worry about my kids too much. I want them to have friends and (especially my son) be capable of having meaningful intimate (emotionally) relationships. I want them not to be bullied.
    Beyond that, I don’t worry much. Maybe I’ve read I Stand Here Ironing too often, but I always come back to this passage:
    “So all that is in her will not bloom – but in how many does it? There is still enough left to live by. Only help her to know – help make it so there is cause for her to know – that she is more than this dress on the ironing board, helpless before the iron.”
    That said, I do get extremely stressed and anxious, but 100 mg of Zoloft and thrice-weekly workouts are managing that. I’m also thrilled that the sitcom is resurgent, because laughing = stress relief.


  5. I think younger parents are more stressed and anxious than my husband and I are. Part of the blame falls on the media, in my opinion. It seems to me that most of the so-called parenting advice is designed to create anxiety and insecurity in parents. Perhaps it’s intentional. Anxious people buy more stuff?
    I am more relaxed about my children’s choices. They all enjoy witty and geeky friends. I’ve learned to trust my judgement, and ignore the “experts.”
    My worries about young children have changed. I now see the many ways in which opportunities are constrained for children and teens. Limiting education serves to limit choices in the long term. I am less worried about my children’s choices, and more worried about the structure of the educational system.


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