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Published on Feb 26, 2020
A new survey commissioned by Osmo of 2,000 U.S. parents of school-age children examines different attitudes towards parenting and parenting practices between today’s adults and their parents, while revealing a desire to carry on specific traditions they learned as kids and rejecting punitive practices. A surprising 78% of survey participants (61% male; 37% female) with kids ages 5-14+ think they’re better at parenting than their parents/caregivers were. This study conducted by OnePoll also reveals a range of attitudes towards how they value time spent with children, including screen time, given how many mobile devices (tablets, phones, computers, laptops, gaming devices/consoles) are being used by children and adults today.
“We conducted this exciting study to explore how today’s adult parents differ from past generations, how they learned parenting, how they value spending time with kids, and whether this includes allowing mobile screen time,” says Pramod Sharma, CEO of Osmo, an award winning STEAM brand used in over 30,000 U.S. classrooms and one million homes worldwide. “Given these parents grew up mostly without mobile devices, we were curious about their views on technology. We asked: ‘Are there rules in place? Do they limit children’s time on devices? Are they monitoring what games, videos, and apps their kids are consuming? Would they allow their kids more screen time if the content was educational?” Sharma, a father to two children, co-founded Osmo because he desired a hands-on, educational, healthier way for kids to use devices, and allay parental anxiety about using technology at home.
Participants admitted learning parenting from a wealth of sources like books, TV, websites, other parents, religion, as well as relying on their own parents and experiences. “Interestingly, while 77% think they should not expose children to punitive parenting practices they endured (spanking, being sent to your room or finishing dinner before leaving the table, adhering to strict bedtime), five in ten would love to share the experience of playing beloved board games with their children. This ranks as high as past-times like books, movies, sports and family meals, with 49% saying they will carry on similar traditions with their kids,” says Sharma. “It suggests that families still value game time as a very important part of child development.”
When it comes to the role of technology in family life, responses indicate that the majority of parents embrace using technology at home with measured caution by monitoring kids’ usage across devices and setting rules around screen time. Even so, four in five worry to some degree about the quality of content their children consume, however 48% admit they would allow more screen time if the content is educational in some way. While Sharma allows his little ones to freely use iPads at home, he makes sure their screen time is active versus passive. “The case of watching hours of YouTube mindlessly is not part of our family’s parenting practice,” he says.
Respondents also reveal that they may spend anywhere from $10-50+ monthly on supplemental educational products, and would allocate even more money if they liked the product enough. “This data is compelling for Osmo because it shows parents are welcoming greater usage of educational products at home, while reinforcing our belief that hands-on games played within a group setting are a highly valuable means of learning,” says Sharma. “It validates Osmo’s mission to create quality programs that are fun for kids, parents and educators, and that educational technology will continue to grow.”
The majority of participants (77%) think that parenting is more difficult today. When asked what makes parenting challenging, they identified a range of issues, such as: discipline (48%); setting boundaries and rules (43%); education decisions (39%); scheduling (35%); daily grind (32%); and work/life balance (30%).