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Two-thirds of parents agree that kids today have it much better, but most still love their time more

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NEW YORK – Growing up as a kid and having the freedom to do what you want seems so amazing. But if time travel were possible, according to a recent poll, two out of three Americans would take themselves back to their childhood (64%).

A recent survey of 2,000 parents of children in the US between the ages of five and eighteen asked them to reflect on their own childhood. When it comes to what adults miss most about being a kid, it’s not surprising that they have no responsibilities (67%) and are stress-free (57%). More than half also miss their childhood friends (53%), family gatherings (52%) and celebrating the holidays (52%).

What brings these parents back to their childhood? The top three activities for respondents were watching favorite children’s movies and TV shows (65%), getting together for the holidays (51%), and hearing certain sounds, such as ice cream truck jingles (48%).

The survey, conducted by Mini Brands Disney and OnePoll, also found that 75 percent of parents often reminisce about their childhood, while 90 percent have even shared childhood stories with their children. While 76 percent of parents view their children as mini versions of themselves, most value their children for making them better people (93%).

In addition, two out of three parents admit that their children’s childhood has been much better than theirs (67%). That’s because they believe their children have more opportunities in life (65%), more access to technology (57%), and receive more affection than they did as a child (56%).

Research in children: what parents miss most

Was it really better before?

When they look back on their childhood, 83 percent are happy they grew up in the era they were born in. A similar percentage think growing up in this era is much more difficult now than when they were a child (81%).

“We see the trend toward nostalgia in toys more important than ever before,” Robbie Mercer, marketing manager at Mini Disney Brands, said in a statement. “Parents choose toys for their kids that they either resonate with and remember playing with as kids, or they want to find something that kids and parents can enjoy together.”

When it comes to the holiday season, 70 percent share that they feel nostalgic as the winter holiday rolls around. Parents say holiday mornings are their favorite times of the season as they watch their kids play with their toys (60%), watch holiday movies together (50%), make brunch (46%) and sleep in (42%) .

This year, parents plan to give their children clothes (74%), toys (55%), and electronics (52%) for the holiday season. With toys being a popular gift, 61 percent of parents are not ashamed to say their children have better toys than they did when they were growing up. Yet four in five parents prefer to buy toys for their children that they used to play with when they were growing up (38%).

“Today’s parents are looking for opportunities for more quality and meaningful time with their children,” Mercer added. “We believe in transcending generational divides and empowering parents to forge their childhood nostalgia into new memories.”

Survey methodology:

This random double opt-in survey of 2,000 parents of children ages 5 to 18 was commissioned by Disney Mini Brands between November 11 and 15, 2022. It was conducted by market research firm OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and his corporate membership of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).