Don’t worry, be happy – survey reveals mums’ hopes for their children’s future

A new worldwide survey has revealed happiness is a mother’s top wish for her child’s future – and showing them love is more important than anything else when it comes to their development.

Intelligence doesn’t figure as much as you might think, with more mums just wanting their children to be happy, kind and content, the new survey reveals. The findings, compiled from a study of 3500 mums between the age of 21-40 for toy company Fisher-Price, shows mums are placing an emphasis on developing character traits and are putting love over education as most important for their child’s development.

hope survey

Using responses from mothers in seven countries, the results show mums are optimistic, confident and focused on their child’s well-rounded development. Rejecting the approach of the so-called tiger mums – mums who push for higher-achievement and wealth – most believe love is the most important thing for their offspring. Traits like happiness, kindness and honesty are more important than intellect, success, power, and influence, the survey says.

Other results show access to education is ranked as the top priority across all countries surveyed as the reason for optimism, trumping healthcare, safety and future job opportunities.

hopes survey3

The top five important traits ranked from the responses of the mums are happiness, respect for parents and elders, honesty, politeness and self-assurance.

A video has been released to mark the findings in Australia and features paediatrician Dr Katie Heathershaw, midwife Natasha Boschetti and celebrity mum Jules Sebastian. They say Aussie mums are shifting their focus to a more balanced perspective of what constitutes their child’s bright future.

“In my practice here in Australia, I see that the Australian mums that I’m working with are very much focused on happiness for their children as their highest priority,” Dr Heathershaw says.

In the video, Ms Boschetti says mums really understand that play-based learning is what their children need. “So in their everyday interactions mums have with their children in play, their children learn,” she says. “The study really showed that universally, mothers are really optimistic for their children, for their wellbeing, for their development, for their lives ahead.”

The survey is Fisher-Price’s largest global study on early childhood development to date.

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