The Role of Mom and Dad: Our Research

How Americans Really Feel About Their Parents

How do you relate to your parents? Do you regularly check in with the people who brought you into this world? Do you know what kind of lives they led before you were born?

These are all burning questions that we really wanted to understand, so we decided to do some research into how people relate to and understand their parents.

The Wall Street Journal covered our findings about how people really feel about — and how much they actually know about — their parents.  What really stands out is that many people are not connected fully with their parents, with 25% of U.S. respondents admitting that they haven't spoken to their parents in the last month.

Keeping in Touch

When was the last time you caught up with your parents and checked in to see how they were doing? Our research found that 30% of those living in the western part of the country haven't spoken to their parents in the last month, compared to those living in the Midwest — 83% of them have spoken to their parents in the past month. 


Mom and Dad: Before You Were Born 


Our research also shows that many people in the U.S. are somewhat in the dark about what their parents' lives were like before they had kids.  When it comes to piecing together the personal histories of their parents,  45% of people report that they’ve learned more about their parents’ lives from discovering family possessions, overhearing conversations, or speaking with other family members, rather than directly from their parents themselves. 

On top of this, 35% of those surveyed said they really admire their parents' achievements but have little understanding as to how they accomplished what they did. Another 21% said they didn't know anything about their mother and father before they became parents. Those aged 45 to 65 years old knew the least about their parents' lives before they had children.

Can you relate? Have you ever sat down with your parents to talk about their early lives?


Appreciating Your Parents 

About two-thirds of men and nearly half of women said that their parents made sacrifices to provide them with life-changing opportunities. People living in the western part of the country felt this most strongly (66%), and well over half of the people in every region agreed. We all know that parenting is the hardest job in the world, so perhaps this isn't too surprising! 

In light of these findings, we think it’s time to start a conversation. If your parents are still alive and you have the opportunity to speak to them in person, ask them about their lives before you were born! Doing so could deepen your bond. Even better, how about giving them the gift of turning their life story into a StoryTerrace book? Our customers often tell us how moved their parents have been to receive this meaningful gift! 


For more information on how to keep your parents’ stories alive with a StoryTerrace book, contact us to schedule a free consultation. You can also sign up for our newsletter to receive more original content from us! 

Written by Helen Morris
Image credits: by Annie Spratt & Les Anderson

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