Instead of Sheltering, Parents Are Broadening Their Kids’ Life Experiences

Parents are exposing preschool-age children to more of the realities of life to prepare them for an unpredictable world, according to a new Viacom study

Many parents feel their kids learn best when trusted to develop skills of their own – in fact, nearly 3 out of 4 believe that kids should learn from their own experiences.

Preschoolers are now getting early exposure to some more mature hands-on responsibilities at home. Some of these tasks include using “big kid” objects like knives and glass plates, and chores like walking the dog and cleaning dishes. Reasonable dangers aren’t always something to fear – parents are teaching kids how to respond safely instead of shielding them entirely.

Parents aren’t just broadening kids’ exposure to household duties. When it comes to family matters, they’re taking their preschoolers’ views into consideration — 70% say they always listen to their child’s opinion before making decisions that affect him or her.

Additionally, parents perceive kids’ peer-to-peer interactions as valuable opportunities to prepare them for life. In fact, socialization is the #1 reason parents send their children to preschool.

These Enabling Experiences are teaching kids to be “playground-smart,” independent, and socially-skilled.

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* Countries surveyed: Australia, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States.