New Global Parenting Index reveals the pressure we’re all under

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Today marks the launch of the Parenting Index, a global study that examines parenting experiences.

The inaugural study*, commissioned by Nestlé as part of its ongoing commitment to support families in the first 1,000 days of life, is a unique new way of benchmarking and understanding the experiences of parents across the world today, reflecting the views of over 8,000 mums and dads of babies aged 0-12 months in 16 countries.  

The Index has identified eight universal factors that impact parenting across the world – and the most significant of these is pressure. It is something parents have little control over, but it has the biggest impact on parents around the world, no matter where in the world they raise their child. 

Some of this pressure is internal; parents hold themselves to high standards, reporting feeling unprepared for the realities of becoming a parent, resulting in a need to make more compromises than expected.

But external pressures – particularly unsolicited advice – are far stronger and can have a negative impact. Even well-intentioned motives of others can leave parents feeling overwhelmed. 

An Australian study** was also commissioned, which identified a number of parallels with the global Parenting Index. The local research found internal and external pressures to also be considerable challenges for Aussie parents of young children, with 50% of parents across the country admitting to feeling intense social pressure on how to raise their baby. 

Almost three quarters (72%) of Australian parents claim that everyone has a point of view on how to raise and feed their child, whether they want to hear it or not. 

The research also found that 62% of local parents have found becoming a parent more difficult than they thought it would be – with Mums (70%) finding it harder than Dads (48%).

Nestlé Infant Nutrition General Manager, Xavier Payrard said, “Becoming a parent is one of life’s greatest experiences, but we know that it’s never easy – it comes with a lot of challenges. Every day is unique, and while undeniably rewarding, it can be frustrating.” 

While the impact of COVID-19 has been undeniably hard and confronted families with new pressures, it has also brought about a positive impact.

The global Parenting Index reveals that parents have been feeling more mutual support during the pandemic – including increased social cohesion and sense of belonging. Parents also report feeling less societal pressure on how to raise their children during the pandemic.

Mr Payrard continued, “The reality of parenting is complex and everyone’s parenting experience is different. We know that for all its joys, parenting is not always easy. We believe all parents should feel informed, respected and supported with the choices they make for both themselves and their babies.

“The Parenting Index helps us to understand and address the findings of our research and be able to provide broader support for parents. We cannot create measurable change alone. We are calling on those who share in our vision to join us in making this world an easier place to be a parent and raise healthier, happier future generations.”  


Parenting Index – top global challenges:
•    Pressure
•    Financial resilience
•    Support for working life
•    Easy baby
•    Health and wellbeing resources
•    Supportive environment
•    Shared parenting
•    Parenting confidence

The full research report and supportive information can be found at www.theparentingindex.com 

Practical advice and support for parents can be found online at www.mumandme.com.au

* -Global research
The Parenting Index, commissioned by Nestlé is based on data from The Parenting Index Survey conducted by Kantar from Jan 14th to Feb 27th 2020. A nationally representative sample of mothers and fathers of babies 0-12 months were surveyed in 16 countries. Wave 1 involved 8,045 interviews (500 per country in 16 countries). Wave 2 included 900 interviews (300 in China, Spain and the US) to gauge early indications of the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the Index.  

**- Australian research
Local study conducted by McNair Yellow Square, December 2020. The research study included 206 Australian parents with a child under 2 years of age

About The Parenting Index
The Parenting Index provides a new framework for understanding the experience of parenting around the world today. The inaugural Index, published in 2020, was commissioned by Nestlé as part of its ongoing commitment to support families in the first 1,000 days of life.