Nestle publishes a first-of-its-kind study into global parenting experiences, the Parenting Index, which reveals that one-third of new parents globally feel lonely despite living in a highly connected world.
Done by Kantar, the study is a component of the Nestle Parenting Initiative (NPI), part of its ongoing commitment to support families with better health and happier life in the first 1,000 days of parenting.
The index identifies eight universal factors that impact parenting across the world.
The most significant universal factor is pressure, which accounts for 23 per cent of the overall score. The surveyed parents claim that these pressures are from internal and external influence. The loneliness, the parenting responsibilities or self-criticism are additional factors that amplify their anxiety.
Thirty-two per cent of new parents said despite living in a world where friends and family are only a text away it is easy to feel isolated and lonely with a baby in their arms.
Dr Ming Cui, professor of family and child sciences at Florida State University in the US, said: “Today’s parents are increasingly parenting in a state of anxiety. Influenced by popular media along with technology advances, many parents from different cultures and socio-economic classes feel pressured to do it all.
“Although the emphasis is often on being responsive and responsible as parents of babies, moms and dads should also realize that their own well-being matters in the process of parenting.
“Parenting babies, with the elevated demands and stress, can take a toll on parents themselves financially, emotionally, and physically.
“To promote positive parenting and ultimately children’s healthy development, parents should not overlook their own well-being and should take good care of themselves.”
Tanti Ermawati, business executive officer at Nestle Infant Nutrition, said: “Nestle is actively finding solutions and sharing parenting knowledge as well as experiences.”
The company said it would be commissioning the survey every two to three years.
As part of its goal to work together with others to help make parents’ lives easier, it also plans to collaborate with like-minded partners and host roundtable discussions to establish an actionable roadmap on how to address the universal challenges of 21st century parenting. — VNS