Today’s parents are more optimistic than parents were 17 years ago. In 1998, when parents were asked if they believed their children will face more problems growing up than they did, 78% said their children will have more problems. That was before 9/11, before the dot-com bubble burst, and before the Great Recession. Now, 63% of parents believe their children will face more problems growing up than they did.
75% of parents who rate their child's education as "Fair" or "Poor" think that their child is going to encounter more problems growing up.
57% of parents who rate their child's education as "Excellent" or "Very Good" think that their child is going to face more problems growing up.
68% of parents who believe that their child's school is not preparing them to enter the job market also believe that their child will face more problems growing up.
When asked the historic question of whether today’s children will be better or worse off than they are, parents are divided. The gaps in optimism vary by a parent’s age, income, race and party affiliation. Parents who are lower income and younger have a brighter view of their child’s future, while older, white and Republican parents seem to be less optimistic.
51% of parents believe that schools are not preparing kids to enter the job market if they do not choose to go on to college.
By and large, parents want the same thing for their children-- success. But what success looks like is different for many parents. While 46% of parents say their children will be successful in the future if they have a career they enjoy, 23% say the metric for success is financial security and 12% say having a family of their own is success. No matter their race, the vast majority of parents believe their children need more than a high school diploma in order to achieve the American Dream.
Emotional intelligence, or the ability to read others and respond accordingly, is at the core of social and communication skills. Research has shown that those with high emotional intelligence have better attention skills and fewer learning problems, and are generally more successful in academic and workplace settings. When it comes to skills children need to achieve success, parents don’t rank grades as number 1. In fact, 54% of parents said good social and communication skills are more important to a child’s future success than grades. However, the emphasis on grades is different based on a parent’s race and level of education.
Thinking about the most important quality that children should have, 50% of parents say respecting others is at the top.
Mothers are more likely to think that the most important quality for kids to have is respect for others. While fathers are more likely to think that determination and strong work ethic is more important.
54% of white parents prioritize determination and strong as one of the most important qualities for children to have. Only 38% of minorities agree.
55% of Hispanic parents think responsibility is one of the most important quality for children to have as they grow up.