State of the Kid Logo

Exploring the Influences and Worries of a Generation Ready to Stand Up and Do What’s Right

Our tenth-anniversary survey delved into topics that included who and what influences kids’ ideas and thoughts, and whether kids feel empowered to create a better, kinder world. The results, garnered on the heels of several significant events that saw kids standing up and speaking out, are reflective of their demands for change, which made 2018 a critically important year for listening to children.

Lean In and Listen

“Our hope from this year’s survey is that parents will be reminded that listening to children, actively listening—putting down your devices and actively engaging with them—is one of the most important things you can do for your children,” says Christine French Cully, editor in chief of Highlights. “Every time we do that, we learn something about them, and it helps us be better parents, grandparents, educators, and caregivers. The good news is that many children reported that they do think the grown-ups in their lives listen to them.”


I like the fact that I don't give up on myself. I strive and persevere no matter how big the problem is.”

Help Kids Feel Empowered

“One of the other pieces of data we learned through this study that should be comforting to parents, grandparents, educators, and the world at large is that we are raising a generation of upstanders. Of the kids surveyed, 93% said they would take action if they saw someone doing or saying something mean. And 23% would try to stop it on their own. We thought that spoke volumes about how our kids today feel empowered to make change, and are intent on creating a better tomorrow.”—Christine French Cully, Editor in Chief, Highlights

“I consider myself a leader, and I try to help and be helpful whenever I can.”

Connect About Influencers

“Influencers outside the family are becoming a more powerful force, and adult problems are increasingly becoming childhood worries. Today, it’s more important than ever that parents and educators keep an ongoing and open dialogue with children, staying close to the impact these influencers can have in affecting their social and emotional development.”—Jennifer Miller, M.Ed., Confident Parents, Confident Kids