baby talk

What Questions Do Kids Ask Their Parents?

Graphic showing children asking their parents for advice over the phone

Parents are accustomed to answering millions of little questions for their children when they are growing up: Where do babies come from? Are we there yet? Do I have to? But when children grow up and leave the nest, we wanted to find out exactly how often and what sorts of questions they still phoned home for. In this campaign, we surveyed over 1,000 people to see what advice they were most likely to seek from their mom and dad.

What better way to find out than to ask a few questions of our own? We began by surveying more than 1,000 participants for one week in April 2022. We targeted both parents and children over 18 years old regarding how often they speak with one another, what technology they use, the advice children seek from each parent, and much more. Read on to see what we found.

Do You Call Your Parents Enough?

Most children depend on their parents for everything from home-cooked meals to rides to soccer practice—but when they grow up and move on to college or someplace new, how many keep this line of communication open? According to the children surveyed, 65% say they call their parents a fair amount, which is slightly lower than parents’ perception at 62%.

Of those children, it is more likely that women (68%) will reach out to their parents when compared to men (56%). Perhaps, this is due to women disproportionately carrying the emotional load in life. Women are programmed to take care of everyone else’s needs before their own, which could pose one theory as to why they are more likely to check in on their aging parents. An adjacent thread of responsibility could be said for the oldest children (13%), who aside from only children (21%), are most likely to call their parents every day.

Bar graph presenting child and parent feedback on how often they speak on the phone

Mom & Dad Know Best

There’s an age-old saying, “mother knows best,” which is why we were not surprised to learn that one in four children (25%) say they turn to their moms for help when making major life decisions. There are a variety of questions to ask your mom when buying a new car, leasing an apartment, or changing your career path. Some may say, moms are slated with the best advice. Dads are also held in high regard with their kiddos, as nearly one in five respondents (18%) say they turn to their dad for advice regarding major life decisions. In addition to the big topics, a majority of respondents say they turn to dad for the typical items you may expect like car trouble (13%), finances (11%), and home maintenance (15%).

While fathers are the go-to for many of life’s hurdles, relationship advice doesn’t seem to be among them, as less than 1% of children ask their dads for advice when it comes to their significant other. Comparatively, 13% of children turn to their mom when it comes to questions about dating. This may be due to a common misconception that women are more emotional than men, despite men being just as emotional as women. However, whether or not society embraces men and their feelings is a whole other debate.

Nested circles representing advice categories for both moms and dads

Seeking Parental Advice

As a whole, taking time out of your day to call your mom or dad is not always front of mind when there are bills to be paid, laundry to be loaded, and schoolwork to finish. We analyzed feedback from children’s perspectives on their communication habits with their mom and dad.

Kenny Chesney’s hit song, “Get Along,” encourages people to call their mom mid-chorus, linking the simple act to a life well-lived. While we discovered that most millennials don’t call their parents over the phone, 58% of them do reach out over text and 29% of parents with five children or more say they nag their children to call them more.

Parents want to connect with their children by hearing their voices and asking them about their day in an unfiltered, fluid conversation. There are so many questions to ask your parents, there isn’t an excuse not to call! There is a push to get people to start talking on the phone more regularly and set time aside for their loved ones. Unsurprisingly, baby boomers are the generation most likely to say that their kids call less than is fair, with almost one in three expressing this opinion.

This isn’t shocking, as many baby boomers say they are lonely, living without children or spouses, and striving for real human connection—you know, the kind that lifts your mood and brightens your day. This desire for connection is more apparent in parents of a single child, 27% of whom say they wish to be called everyday (which is 9% more than children of multiple parents).

Donut chart displaying interesting facts about children calling their parents with parent feedback

The Best Advice A Kid Could Ask For

There are moments in life when our parents turn to us, the world slows, and they deliver advice that sticks with us forever, rivaling that of any tender, scripted Hollywood moment in TV or film. The kind of advice that we would pass down to our own children, so they can pass it down to theirs. Lucky for us, some participants shared the meaningful advice they received from their parents. Some of the standouts included responses that focused on family, babies, self-care, confidence, and persevering through roadblocks.

Advice ranged from how you should “find a husband who is also your best friend” to “communicate confidently, don’t doubt yourself and the other person won’t either.” What to look for in a life-long partner and finding inner strength are unbeatable questions to ask your parents. Other advice focused on unconditional love, with one response stating, “Do what makes you happy, we will always love you no matter what.” Perhaps it’s given right before a child heads off to college or accepts their first “big girl” job, but no matter when or how this advice is received, it deserves to be framed and hung on a wall.

Bubbles displaying quoted advice from parents to children

Closing Thoughts

A parent's job does not end when their child turns 18. The advice train keeps chugging along even after children grow up and leave behind their childhood bedroom. Your kid will likely be coming to you for advice one day on how to raise their babies. For this reason, Chicco wanted to pass the buck to you, so you can answer all of your child’s questions about car seat safety and help them pick out the best playard for your grandchildren.