Survey: Parents Do Trust Themselves

According to the most recent Dr. Spock Parenting Poll, an overwhelming majority of parents are comfortable with their own instincts. Parents cite daily parenting issues as being more challenging than the larger issues such as sex and violence that are often focused on in the media.

The Dr. Spock Parenting Poll is a periodic look at issues and challenges faced by American parents. The poll is based on a national sample of more than 1,000 adults. The results of the most current poll are based on a survey developed by The Dr. Spock Company and Leflein Associates and conducted by telephone interviews in April.

Parents Trust Themselves

According to the survey, parents trust their own instincts almost twice as much as they trust the advice of a pediatrician. When asked where they received most of their parenting information and advice:

  • 85 percent said they trusted their own instincts;

  • 80 percent said they received information from their partner, spouse or parents;

  • 54 percent said extended family and friends;

  • 46 percent said books and magazines;

  • 45 percent indicated their pediatricians or other experts;

  • 15 percent said TV; and

  • 8 percent said they got most of their parenting information from the Internet.

    The survey also indicated that men are more likely than women to ask their spouses for parenting information 72 percent of men said they trusted their partner or spouse while 49 percent of women said they trusted theirs.

    Dealing with the Little Things

    While the media would have us believe that sex, violence and the amount of TV kids watch are the biggest issues parents have to tackle, parents said that day-to-day parenting issues concern them more.

    The survey asked parents what they considered to be the biggest challenges they face as parents:

  • 66 percent said the emotional well-being of the child;

  • 57 percent said discipline and other behavior issues;

  • 52 percent said economic concerns;

  • 48 percent said sex and violence and too much TV, computers and video games;

  • 47 percent said the physical health of their children; and

  • 27 percent said that the biggest challenge was a family situation, such as single parenting.
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