COVID-19 Has Changed Every Part of Daily Life for Parents and Kids
Meeting Street Insights research of more than 1000 American families reveals sweeping consequences and strong sentiments.
The staggering impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on large-scale public systems, including politics, economy, healthcare, and education are well-documented. Less understood is how deeply personal those impacts have been on families working to navigate the environment of risk and uncertainty.
To shine a spotlight on the multitude of ways that the coronavirus has reshaped life for parents and their kids, Meeting Street Insights deployed a wide-ranging study in July 2020 to approximately 1,000 parents of school-aged children (ages five to eighteen). Parents responded to questions about their family’s financial situation, emotional wellbeing, health concerns, and other ways the outbreak has affected their lives and their children’s lives. Parents were also asked about their children’s education during the shutdowns and their feelings about school this fall.
The results show that across regional, economic, racial, and gender lines, COVID-19 has changed how families and individuals are making decisions and behaving. The quantitative study uncovers what compromises parents are willing to make for the welfare, safety, and health of their children. The findings also confirm that parents feel overwhelmed and uncertain as they try to make major decisions, and identifies key reasons why.
The majority of parents feel two impacts most keenly — financial and emotional. These are complex issues, and over the course of the coming weeks, we will dig into them in greater detail. Generally, the responses tell a story that the sense of economic fragility caused by the pandemic is more worrisome to parents than the widely-discussed health risks.
In the majority of households (52%), at least one family member has lost a job, had hours or shifts reduced, or taken a pay cut due to the COVID-19 outbreak. An additional 20% of parents worry that they or another family member will lose their job or receive a significant pay cut.
Many families also worry about meeting their family’s basic needs. In 43% of families, the parents are barely getting by and 11% say they are struggling financially.
It’s not surprising that parents report a lot of negative emotions during the coronavirus outbreak, including frequently feeling stress (59%), worry (54%), and a sense of being overwhelmed (40%). Notably, they report that their kids are frequently dealing with similar concerns like confusion (35%), worry (35%), and sadness (34%). Only 16% of parents reported they frequently felt happiness during the outbreak — 20% said the same about their child(ren).
Throughout the coming weeks, we will share insights via Twitter (@meeting_st) and LinkedIn (@Meeting Street Insights). Follow for daily updates and discussion. The comprehensive study will be available in August.
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This data comes from a Meeting Street Insights national online survey of 1,000 parents conducted July 3 – July 9, 2020.