Parents in lockdown deal with 39 difficult questions from kids a month

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A new study from OnePoll on behalf of Zulily uncovered some of the most challenging questions parents have to answer. (Photo by Hannah Tasker on Unsplash)

Parents field 468 difficult questions from their kids each year, according to new research.

And with parents likely to be home with their families during the day, respondents might be facing more tough questions from inquisitive kids than they would be otherwise.

The poll of 2,000 parents with children aged 2–12 found — in this “new normal” — respondents are creatively responding to 39 hard-to-answer questions per month.

The study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with online retailer Zulily, aimed to explore how parents handle difficult questions from their children.

“Is Santa real?” and “Where do babies come from?” were discovered to be the two most commonly asked questions — but other questions veered toward larger issues, like the environment.

Of moms surveyed, 28% have had their kids ask them why they have to recycle, while nearly a quarter (22%) of those studied said their kids have asked them what being “green” means.

When answering these hard-hitting questions, nearly half (44%) of moms studied revealed they’ve had to Google the answer before responding.

And despite being stumped, many moms (43%) stated they are proud of their kids when they ask these difficult questions — because it shows kids are deeply interested in the world around them, especially during these dynamic times.

“There is no single parenting guidebook that has all the answers. And in today’s complex world, we are seeing more parents wanting to raise children who are curious, conscientious and connected to their communities through their actions and products they buy for their families,” said Carmela Matthews, merchandise manager at online retailer Zulily and mom of three.

“What’s important, more than ever, is that parents give kids the tools to fuel their inquisitive spirit and to care about the world around them.”

Eighty percent of the moms surveyed think by making small changes in their purchasing habits, they can have a positive impact on the environment and community.

They’re certainly thinking about the earth more: Four in five of moms say they are more environmentally conscious since having kids.

Yet, most (57%) of parents say the availability of products is what keeps them from purchasing eco-friendly products, compared to 47% who say the price is a factor.

“As a parent, it’s important to me to show my family that small changes can make a huge difference, and that you don’t need to spend a lot to do the right thing,” said Matthews.

“That’s why I choose reusable food containers over single-use plastic, opt for toys made out of recyclable materials, and even line-dry clothes when I can. Kids ask their fair share of difficult questions, but they also ask the best questions and it all starts with one — ‘how can I help?’”

1. Is Santa real? 37%
2. Where do babies come from? 36%
3. Why do we have to recycle? 29%
4. Do animals get married? 27%
5. What does ‘green’ mean? 27%
6. What does [expletive] mean? 26%
7. Why is the sky blue? 26%
8. Why can’t I stay up as late as you? 25%
9. What does love mean? 25%

1. Availability 58%
2. Price 50%
3. Products don’t work as well 35%

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1. Stella McCartney 34%
2. George Clooney 33%
3. Leonardo DiCaprio 33%
4. Megan Markle 27%
5. Jessica Alba 24%

Parents are asked 9.25 questions per week calculation:
• 9 x 52 weeks = 468 questions per year
• 468 / 12 months = 39 questions per month

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<
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