Today's parents less strict than a generation ago says Saga

Monday 15 May 2006

Today's parents less strict than a generation ago says Saga

  • 91% of grandparents think their children make good parents
  • But 45% of grandparents would choose different parenting tactics

A new study of parenting skills from Saga has revealed that while most grandparents believe their children are doing a good job of raising their grandchildren, almost half, 45%, of grandparents said they would like to change something about the way their grandchildren are being brought up.

Even though most grandparents rate their children's parenting very highly, Saga's research also revealed that the baby boomers believe today's parents may have let their authority fall by the wayside with almost one in five grandparents (17%) saying they would take a stricter approach with a closer eye on bedtimes and more rigorously enforced discipline and punishment. When asked, 69% of today's parents said their parents were strict with them as a child, and 40% say they give their children more freedom than they had when they were growing up.

With 58% of children having a TV in their bedroom, and 25% having their own computer by their bedside, over one in ten (12%) grandparents believe there is too much emphasis on technology and material goods. Grandparents say they would prefer their grandchildren to spend less time in front of the TV or on the internet and wouldn't buy them so many material things if they were parenting today's children.

However, despite these differences of opinion, most grandparents think their children are doing a good job as parents, with 91% saying they have effective parenting skills. Only 6% of grandparents think their children are ineffective as parents.

On a scale of one to ten, a third (33%) of grandparents rated their children's parenting skills as a ten. Interestingly, grandmothers proved to be far more positive than grandfathers about their children's parenting ability, with 38% of grandmothers rating them a ten on the parenting scale, compared with just 27% of grandfathers.

Equally, today's parents think their own parents did a good job of bringing them up. Looking back at their own childhood, 95% of baby boomers' children say they appreciated what their parents did for them when they were growing up.

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive of Saga commented: "Times have changed and today's children generally have more freedom and material goods but this does not necessarily mean they are spoiled. Parenting skills have moved on to reflect these changes, and whilst yesterday's generation of parents would have done things differently, the vast majority are very positive about how their grandchildren are being raised."


Notes to editors:

* Current parents are those aged between 16 and 49, with parents aged 50-65 and children aged 15 or less

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.

Share this page

Get In Touch

The Saga Group Communications Team only deal with enquiries from the media.

If you're not a journalist, visit our contact us page for a full list of telephone numbers.