Study: Children Don’t Expect Adults To Have All The Answers

Kids don’t expect adults to be perfect—science says so. University of Portsmouth researchers find that children think adults spend their time worrying that they should know the answers to everything, but the young people who took part in the researchers don’t believe they should feel like this. The children also expressed their frustration by knowing a right answer, but not being able to show it. They related this to the constant messages they get from media and school about striving for perfection in their self-images, bodies, and learning expectations.

The kids also argued that adults complain too much about the new generation’s attitude to digital devices and their online activity. As a group the kids said they ultimately feel a desire to stop constantly using their devices, but they do not because they would “feel left out.” Lead researcher Dr. Emma Maynard says, “The children presented the concept of phones and social media as being ‘just there’, so now they have to use them. We interpreted this as the adult generation having created the assessment pressures, and the presence of social media and mobile phone-based communication. Children did not invent these things. This led us to think that in this context, criticisms of children and young people being attached to their phones is somewhat unfair.”