Highlights magazine, the best-read children’s magazine in North America, has announced the results of its annual opinion poll of its readers in the U.S. The Highlights 2013 State of the Kid (SOTK) survey gives kids a national platform to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences related to major issues that are on the minds of parents nationwide.
The 2013 survey shares kids’ views on patriotism, safety and values.
What Do Kids Really Think About United States?
When asked whether their home country is the best, 77.9% of children surveyed said they believe the U.S. is the best of the best. Younger kids (ages 4-8) were more likely than older kids (ages 11-14) to favor the U.S. above all other countries. As for the reason they thought the U.S. was the best, “freedom” (21.3%) was the most frequent response among children of all ages.
Despite their optimism about our country, kids are tuned in to the challenges facing us. When asked what one new law they would create if they had the chance, their answers included laws about children’s rights and safety (12.4%), education (11.6%), weapons (6.6%) and smoking (6.3%).
How Do Kids View Safety and the Outdoors?
Studies have shown that children growing up in the U.S. today are safer than at any other time in history. But do they feel safe? According to the survey, a significant portion of all children surveyed (68%) felt that it is safer to be a kid today than when their parents were growing up, but older children (ages 11-14) were split on the issue: only 51% felt it was safer to be a kid today.
While kids believe today’s society is safer in comparison to previous generations, 49.9% of the survey participants said it was safer to play “inside,” while only 7.6% said it was safer to play “outside.” Given that kids are spending half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago, this raises a question about whether kids are being raised to fear the outdoors.
Do Kids Value Honesty over Kindness?
Surveys from prior years have demonstrated that kids place a high value on both honesty and kindness. This year, when asked which was more important, 63.6% of kids said it was more important to be honest than to be kind. Older children (ages 11-14) were more likely than younger children (ages 4-8) to feel kindness was more important than honesty (41% vs. 37%).
Kids’ values and interests were also demonstrated in their response to the question, “If you were a grown up for one day, what would you do?” The most common answer was “get a job” (16.4%), followed by “drive a car” (14%) and “go shopping” (13.2%). “Change the world” was a top response of 7.2% of survey participants, while 4.1% said “have kids.”
This marks Highlights’ fifth year of conducting the survey and publishing the State of the Kid report. Over the years, the surveys have provided predictable answers, yet often times children’s responses have proven to be witty, wise and surprising.
“I believe this year’s survey reveals that kids are optimists who see good in the world around them. If we let them, kids can help us curb our own cynicism and invigorate our efforts to make the future brighter for them,” said Christine French Cully, editor in chief of Highlights magazine.
The complete 2013 State of the Kid report, including additional data and verbatim responses from the kids can be found at https://www.highlights.com/state-of-the-kid.
Highlights promoted the survey through email campaigns to magazine subscribers. Participants could complete the survey online at Highlights.com. A total of 1409 surveys were completed. The data from these surveys were collected in the spring of 2013.
Devoted to "Fun with a Purpose," family media brand Highlights for Children, Inc. (http://www.highlights.com/) has helped children become their best selves for generations. In addition to the flagship magazine, Highlights’ other offerings include a preschool magazine (High Five), an infant magazine (Hello), a children’s book company (Boyds Mills Press), puzzle book clubs and a variety of digital products.
For additional information about Highlights for Children, Inc., please contact Christine French Cully, Editor in Chief, at (570) 251-4508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.