As younger generations start to grow their families, it often means doing so with few or no children, or perhaps a pet instead. Whether it’s the cost of raising children in today’s economy or the fears of a hostile world, the pressures that come with parenting are more high stakes than ever.
A new study from Pew Research Center, Parenting in America Today, highlights the grave concerns that are top of mind for parents of children under the age of 18. Here is what the Pew study uncovered about parenting.
- Mental health: A generation that grew up in a society that stigmatized mental health is now raising a generation that is more open to awareness, support, and treatment. Seventy-six percent of parents reported that they were somewhat or seriously concerned about their child struggling with anxiety and depression. Mental health was the top parental concern, says Pew, above issues such as bullying, abductions, getting attacked, or drug use.
- School shootings: In 2023, there have already been six school shootings across the nation. With bulletproof backpacks and active shooter drills becoming the unfortunate norm for K–12 students, it has also become a part of the expectation for parents. Although only 22% of all parents said they were very or extremely worried about their child getting shot, four in 10 lower-income parents said they were.
- The rewards of parenting: The study found that moms, more than dads, say parenting is tiring and stressful and feel judged for their parenting style. However, 79% to 83% of moms and dads say they find parenting enjoyable and rewarding. When it comes to ethnicity, Black and Hispanic parents are more likely than white and Asian parents to see being a parent as a critical part of their identity.
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