Family, Kids & Relationships

From Favorite Children To Major Mistakes: Report Reveals Parenting Secrets

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An online survey revealed some of the most common mistakes that parents make and the biggest challenges they face. It turns out that many parents are willing to admit to having a favorite child as well as other parenting faux pas, while only a small percentage really felt prepared to become a parent. Feeling better about your own parenting yet?

The survey, commissioned by the diaper rash cream brand Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, gathered the honest scoop from 2,000 American parents aged 23 and older. “The beauty of modern parenting is that we can all connect on the fact that no one has it all together,” summed up Jeanne Collins, Vice President of Marketing at Prestige Consumer Healthcare, the brand’s parent company.

In the survey, parents admitted to making plenty of mistakes every week with their kids. The most common blunders were reported as giving kids too much screen time (65 percent of respondents), teaching children curse words by accident (42 percent) and allowing kids to watch content that isn’t age-appropriate (39 percent).

Some parents admitted that they actually had a favorite child. Of those respondents, 50 percent said their youngest child was their favorite, even though they also thought the youngest caused the most trouble. According to the surveyed parents, six is the age at which kids are most difficult to handle.

Regarding kids’ negative behavior, parents reported they’d be willing to make some sacrifices to have a “perfectly behaved” child. Specifically, 30 percent claimed they’d give up social media, 30 percent agreed to give up wine, and 26 percent would be willing to let go of Netflix!

The responses revealed that only 12 percent of parents felt very prepared for becoming a parent. And as new parents, survey respondents were most surprised by the sleep deprivation aspect, as well as how hard it can be to get a baby to go to sleep.

Most of us can relate to the hiccups and hurdles of parenting, but there were some positives uncovered in the survey too. For example, 66 percent of parents believe they are great at teaching their kids to be kind and compassionate, while 42 percent are proud of getting their children to consistently sleep through the night in their own bed. Those are some pretty major wins!


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Joanna Eng is a freelance writer and editor, Lambda Literary Fellow, and co-founder of Dandelions, a parenting and social justice newsletter. She lives with her wife and child in the New York City area, where she is constantly seeking out slivers of nature. You can find her on Twitter @joannamengland.