2018 Results

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Family remains a vital influence in kids’ lives. Kids tell us they turn to their parents when they have something important to say.

How Kids Answered

“I go to my dad because he helps me and gives me an opinion.”

Parents Rule

The fact that children still turn first to their parents for help is a positive sign about family life today. It’s a normal stage of development for kids to begin to be more influenced by external forces in the tween years (9 to 12) as kids begin to develop social awareness, and social anxiety as well. At this age, kids are able to take another person’s perspective and make inferences on others’ thoughts and feelings, which is one reason peers and other non-family influencers begin to take on a larger role with older kids. Kids ages 6 to 8 aren’t able to make that leap yet, which may be why this age group overwhelmingly named “parent” as someone they turn to when they have something important to say.

Takeaway
Good news! Kids are telling us that parents are really listening to what they have to say. That is a sacred trust and responsibility, a reminder for parents to maintain an open, trusting dialogue with their kids. As children grow into their teen years, this dialogue becomes tougher to maintain as they increasingly seek their peers’ approval. To help ensure our children will continue to turn to us, we need to keep listening to them without judgment and use open-ended questions to guide reflection. This will help them take responsibility for their own relationships, think through actions and consequences, and be their own best problem solvers.

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