Don’t let grandma and grandpa see this article. A new survey asked parents whether they believed they were doing a better job than their own moms and dads—and the vast majority said yes.
The survey conducted by Osmo polled 2,000 parents of school-aged children. Seventy-eight percent of them said they believed they were better parents than their own had been.
Another interesting stat from the survey could help explain that: a nearly identical number, 77%, said they didn’t think the disciplinary tactics used on them as kids (including spanking and being sent to bed without dinner) were appropriate for their own children. That position on spanking puts the parents surveyed in line with American Psychological Association, which has taken a strong stance against the practice.
Moms and dads surveyed also said they believe parenting is harder today than it was in previous generations. Parents cited a number of different factors for that, including the difficulties in dealing with busy schedules and finding a healthy work/life balance, deciding how and when to discipline their kids and set boundaries, as well as making education decisions.
This follows a 2018 survey that found 88% of parents say being a parent is harder now than ever. Parents today report high rates of burnout as parenting has become more continuous—today’s parents are always on it a way previous generations weren’t. As The Economist reports, moms today spend twice as much time with their children as women did 50 years ago, and we know dads are spending more time with their children than previous generations (and still want to do more).
Millennial parents admit that parenting is hard, but this generation loves raising kids (even when it is challenging). A 2017 survey by parenting app Winnie found 99% percent of this generation’s parents say they truly love parenting. Perhaps that is because millennials have more choice when it comes to when and how to make a family than those of previous generations.
But before grandparents everywhere start to revolt, they should know that these survey results don’t necessarily need to be looked at as a total rejection. Modern parents have a wealth of resources and information at their fingertips—like smartphones and the internet—that moms and dads didn’t have even just a couple of decades ago. Navigating those resources may come with its own headaches, but it’s clear parents feel more confident and empowered than ever. That can only be a good thing for today’s kids, and in the end, that’s all that really matters.