The findings produced what is perhaps the first statistical portrait of American parenting in the pandemic.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (PRWEB) April 18, 2020
A new normal of family life is emerging in post-coronavirus America, a new survey of parents shows – from more frequent family dinners and movie nights, to jumps in discipline and depression, to one-fifth of American parents reporting buying a gun in the last month.
The IPREX Parent Normal survey, fielded between April 1 and 8 by the research and creative firm Marketing for Change Co. for the IPREX global communication network, asked 1,519 U.S. parents and other caregivers about their behaviors, their children’s behavior and their perception of what other parents do. The findings produced what is perhaps the first statistical portrait of American parenting in the pandemic.
The results show evidence of sadness and fear, but also glimmers of hope. It’s been a tough month: A third of the parents reported someone in their household losing a job as a result of the coronavirus. But while most parents are imposing strict new restrictions on their children’s movements and many report feeling depressed, most are also experiencing a new sense of togetherness and many are outdoors more, exercising more and even recycling more.
It is also a story of two Americas, with job losses less common among the wealthiest families and middle-income parents more likely than lower-income parents to be newly working from home. Wealthy parents (household incomes over $100,000) were the most likely of all to be newly working from home.
- Nearly two out of three parents are barring their children from playing with children who don’t live with them. Almost a third of parents (31%) have gone so far as to limit their children to their own home and yard.
- Nevertheless, a large share of children -- about a third -- were still playing the same amount or even more with children outside their home. The biggest factor here is the parent’s parenting style, with authoritative parents -- those who jointly make rules with their children -- having the most success at this form of distancing.
- Almost two out of three (64%) parents say they are eating and watching entertainment together more as family than before the coronavirus. More than half are also cooking at home together (57%) and playing board games together (52%) more.
- Nearly one out of three parents of children under 13 (30%) say they find themselves disciplining their children more, including adding new rules, being stricter, yelling, imposing time-outs and withholding things. One in four (27%) of those parents are spanking more. Parents in places where schools and daycare centers had more recently closed were more likely to be disciplining more - potentially an indication of the challenges parents face as children initially spend more time at home.
- One out of five parents (22%) reported buying a gun for their home in the past month. The bulk of these same parents (83%) also talked to their children about gun safety in that same period.
- Average screen time since the coronavirus hit has jumped 38%. Last Friday, parents reported their children spent an average of 5.1 hours on screens compared to 3.7 hours on an average Friday before the coronavirus. Teenagers last Friday had an average of 6.2 hours of screen time, which includes gaming, entertainment, academics, social media and other online activities. The good news: 43% of the increase for all ages was in distance learning and academics.
- Parents are also changing their own behavior. While 58% report spending more time on computers and smartphones, 41% of parents are exercising more and 37% are spending more time outdoors.
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