The era of parents (and in-laws) who are obsessed with becoming grandparents may be coming to an end
If you’re a Gen-Xer or a millennial of a certain age, you know all too well what it’s like to have a parent (or in-law) who can’t seem to get through seeing you without asking when you’re going to give them some grandbabies. Boomer parents are, to put it lightly, obsessed with becoming grandparents. But a new survey shows that younger generations of parents could care less—they’re too busy worrying about their kids’ futures to think about grandkids at all.
The survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center, surveyed 3,757 U.S. parents with children younger than 18. Almost half the parents responded that it was not too important or not important at all to them if their kids got married or had children in the future. Instead, the parents said they want their kids to find jobs that make them happy and keep them stable and financially secure.
When asked about their aspirations for their kids’ futures, about 90 percent of the parents said it’s extremely or very important to them that their kids are financially independent once they reach adulthood. The same percentage said it’s extremely or very important to them that their kids find jobs or careers they enjoy.
Compare that to the 21 percent who said getting married was extremely or very important to them and the just 20 percent who said the same about their kids having kids in the future.
Unsurprisingly, many of the parents expressed concern about their kids growing up in a world that presents more and more challenges for them. Around 40 percent of the parents said they were extremely or very worried about their kids suffering from anxiety or depression (and also unsurprisingly, moms were a lot more likely to express this concern than dads). The researchers attributed this to “the COVID-19 pandemic and amid reports of a growing youth mental health crisis.”