It is a typical irony of existence. Children dream of growing up to do everything that is inaccessible to them, while adults dream of rediscovering the carefreeness of childhood.

A recent survey asked more than two thousand parents of children aged 5 to 18 about their own childhoods, prompting them to reflect on what they missed most about that time. And the responses were unsurprising…

A childhood by proxy

Two out of three Americans would not hesitate to go back in time to relive their childhood. In any case, this is what a recent survey of two thousand parents confirms. Reflecting on their own childhood, 67% said what they missed the most was the absence of responsibilities. For 57%, it was also a lack of stress. Shedding the burden of everyday life would be, for many, a real happiness! Still in the missing box, 53% said they regretted the absence of their childhood friends, 52% family reunions and 52% the end of year celebrations.

living memories

In this survey, parents were asked to name what regularly brings them back to their childhood. Thus, 65% mentioned the films and shows they preferred, toddlers. Vacations were cited by 51% of Americans surveyed. 48% referred to sounds such as ice cream truck jingles as a true reminder of their youth. Conducted by Mini Brands Disney and OnePoll, the survey found that 75% of parents, or three out of four parents, remembered their youth “often” or even “always”.

A better childhood

Obviously, more than 90% of them share their own childhood stories with their children. Being now “on the other side”, that of the responsible adults, two out of three parents confided that the childhood of their cherubs was much better than theirs. According to them, their opportunities would be more numerous, the access to technology would be a positive factor and the children would also receive more affection and attention. They are also 76% to consider their children as mini-versions of themselves. Above all, they are 93% to maintain that their children have made them better people.

A lot of nostalgia

Reflecting on their youth, 83% said they were happy to have grown up in the era in which they were born. A similar percentage suggests that growing up in 2023 is much more difficult than when they were children themselves. “We see that the nostalgia trend in toys is more important than ever,” said Robbie Mercer, marketing manager at Mini Disney Brands. “Parents choose toys for their children with which they have a connection and with which they remember having played when they were children,” she added.

Quality time

Regarding the holidays, 70% of parents become nostalgic as the winter holidays approach, saying that mornings are their favorite times, seeing their children play (60%). This is also a good time to watch movies together (50%), have brunch (46%) and sleep without looking at the time (42%). Obviously, when Christmas arrives, they are 74% to plan to offer them clothes, 55% toys, and 52% electronic devices. For 61%, their children’s toys are much better than theirs. “Parents today are looking for opportunities to spend more quality time with their children,” noted Robbie Mercer. “We believe in transcending generational gaps and allowing parents to forge their childhood nostalgia into new memories,” she concluded.

According to this poll, most parents envy their children's childhood


Maria T.
Maria T.

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