Victorian parents faring well but hungry for help raising teens
28 November 2017
The most comprehensive survey ever conducted on how Victorian parents are faring shows that more than nine in every 10 are confident in their parenting skills – a finding that has important implications for child health and development.
“When people are confident parents, their children do better, and when parents suffer from psychological distress, their children can too–so it’s important that we give parents the tools they need to help them be at their best,” said Parenting Research Centre CEO WarrenCann.
“It’s critical we continue to understand how parents are faring through surveys like this because evidence tells us there is a powerful connection between parent wellbeing and child wellbeing.”
The Parenting Today in Victoria survey, conducted by the Parenting Research Centre and funded by the Victorian Government, surveyed 2600 parents of 0–18-year‐olds and has filled important gaps in our knowledge of how parents are faring and the relationships they have with their children. It provides valuable information from one of the largest groups of fathers ever surveyed on parenting.
The survey, which asked parents more than 100 questions, found parents of teens reported feeling less effective than parents of younger children – and seven in 10 were concerned their children spent too much time on electronic devices. While sleep was a persistent problem for half of all parents with babies – a third of parents with teenagers were having trouble too.
Other key findings included:
- More than 40% of parents wished they did not become impatient with their child so quickly and 28% felt they were sometimes too critical of their children
- More than half of children under two and nearly half of children aged three to five aren’t being read to every day
- More than 90% of parents have someone they trust to turn to for advice, 3% didn’t know where to get help when needed, and nearly 80% use the Internet for parenting information.
Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos said the survey findings provided Government with valuable information.
“We know the first few years can shape a child’s entire life – that’s why we’re investing earlier to ensure our youngest children are given the very best start. Parents are a child’s first educators in life. That’s why we’re investing $202.1 million through our Early Childhood Reform Plan to provide greater support to children and their parents.”
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