We all know parenting isn’t always a walk in the park. According to a recent survey asking parenting questions, conducted by The Ellie Sparkles Show, 65% of parents in the United States admit to worrying about whether they’re doing a good job as a parent.

When asked where they seek parenting advice, 40% of parents in the US said that they turn to the internet to answer their questions.

With this in mind, The Ellie Sparkles Show has analyzed Google search data to discover some of the most common questions parents across the United States are seeking guidance on online.

10 of the most frequently asked questions by parents in the US, according to Google searches

Question

Average annual search volume in the United States

Can kids drink coffee?

16,800

How to set up a trust fund for a child

6,000

Why is my child so angry?

3,000

How to child lock Ipad

3,000

Why does my child get hyper at night?

2,400

What size bike does my child need?

2,400

Why does my child continue to lie?

1,800

Why is my child acting out?

1,800

Why is my child getting car sick?

1,800

How old does my child have to be to stay home alone?

960

If you’re a parent searching for the answers, The Ellie Sparkles Show has investigated some of the most frequently asked questions…

‘Can kids drink coffee?’

Looking after your child’s health and well-being is one of the biggest priorities for parents. And with over 16,800 searches a year in the US, parents are curious to discover whether their children can have coffee as part of their diet.

While there are no federal laws against giving children coffee, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not giving caffeinated drinks or other products to children under the age of 12.

‘How to child lock Ipad’

Ensuring your child’s safety is another key priority for parents. As more children are using electronic devices from an early age, it is no surprise parents are searching for how to make their devices kid-friendly.

Adding parental restrictions to your tech devices is a great way to protect your child’s privacy and keep them safe from inappropriate content. Certain restrictions can also help you manage your child’s screen time.

‘Why does my child get hyper at night?’

Energy increases before bedtime can be common among children and finding out why is a question that is commonly asked by parents online.

Hyperactivity in the evening can be down to a number of factors such as a lack of bedtime routine, too much screen time, being overtired, or too much sugar or caffeine.

To avoid this, The Ellie Sparkles Show suggests parents can create a consistent bedtime routine for their children. This should include limiting screen time and ensuring the last hour before bed is calming and used to wind down. This will help set your child up for a good night’s sleep.

Where else do parents in the US seek advice?

While many parents go straight to Google for advice (40%), The Ellie Sparkles Show survey also revealed what other sources parents go to seek guidance.

The top five sources of advice for parents are…

Where do you, as a parent, seek parenting advice?

% of parents across the US who selected this option

My parents

54%

My partner

47%

The internet

40%

Friends

40%

Books

31%

According to The Ellie Sparkles Show’s survey of parents across the US, the most popular source of advice is their own parents. Over half of the respondents (54%) said that they go to their parents for advice on how to raise their children, with their partner being the next best option (47%).

The internet and friends tied for the third most popular source of advice (40%), followed by a more traditional method of seeking help from books (31%). Interestingly, the survey found that younger parents aged 20-24 were less likely to hit the books with only 15% choosing this option compared to 34% of older parents between the ages of 35-44. Instead, younger parents were more likely to enlist the help of their grandparents when it comes to solving parenting problems (39%).

The Ellie Sparkles Show spoke to Child Psychologist, Dr. Leanne Scharr from Williamsburg Therapy Group who commented:

“It is natural for parents to seek advice from those whose perspectives they value, who they trust to not judge them, and who they believe will understand them –  often, this means those they feel close to, like parents, partners, and friends. While books and the internet can also be good sources of advice, parents should seek advice from a doctor if their parental anxiety starts to interfere with their or their children’s daily lives, or is causing significant distress.”

Expert reveals how can parents manage parental anxiety

mother

Child Psychologist, Dr. Leanne Scharr shared with The Ellie Sparkles Show her advice for managing parental anxiety:

“Parents face many challenges and stressors on a regular basis – competing responsibilities, reduced time for self-care, decreased sleep, and, of course, being tasked with learning, evolving, and growing alongside their children.

Parental worries about their child’s well-being and their own parenting is natural, expected, and actually serves the important function of helping parents protect their children and respond to their needs. However, if this anxiety grows to become overwhelming or paralyzing, it no longer is helpful and can make it harder for parents to be the kind of parents they want to be.

The first step to managing parental anxiety is to gather data – identify what is worrying you and why, and how that anxiety is showing up for you. This allows you to make a plan to manage that anxiety whenever and however you expect it to appear.

For example, if you notice anxiety appearing frequently while getting the kids ready for bed, it can be helpful to create space in your evening routine to use some coping skills. If you notice you’re worrying about the worst-case scenario, you can remind yourself of the different outcomes that can occur, as well as your own capability to handle challenges as a parent.

If you find yourself stuck in your worried thoughts, you might go on a walk or seek support from another parent. If you find the anxiety shows up in your body, you might practice relaxation skills like deep breathing, stretching, or progressive muscle relaxation.”

Dr. Leanne Scharr is a psychologist at Williamsburg Therapy Group who provides psychotherapy for children, adolescents, and families.  She treats anxiety and mood disorders, OCD, ADHD, behavior problems, and adjustment concerns. She has experience supporting youth and families managing difficult transitions, family stress and conflict, and academic concerns.

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