Saturday, September 26, 2015



Rather than dream of 
success, leadership qualities, or intelligence for their new children, 
today’s parents around the world 
hope their kids will grow up to be happy, kind, honest, respectful and polite. 

I tweeted today::
Because these things are vital to me - to my work - to my becoming ......
I am especially interested in the social emotional spiritual aspects in a child's development - how much do parents consider these amongst the many development needs/targets.

This research feeds my thinking and my work.
Here are my TWEETS and research reflections from the the leaders.

According to the Moms’ Hopes & Wishes Study, 
a survey of 3,500 new and soon-to-be moms from seven countries 

Dr. Michael Shore, Vice President and Head of Future Play at Mattel, 
who conducted the research, 
says that these findings were particularly interesting 
because it illustrates how parents view their child’s future. 
"To see [this shift] universally was interesting because 
there’s a lot of talk about 21st century learning and what skills are needed for the future, 
such as the ability to communicate and collaborate, 
and that begs those emotional, social development characteristics,” 
says Shore. 
"So it was interesting to see those traits rise to the top, 

It’s almost as if moms are attuned to what kids are going to need to thrive in the new world.”

"If education is important, it begs the hypothesis that moms want their children to be really smart, so it was interesting when the trait that emerged at the top for most countries was happiness."

Still certain countries did tend to value traits related to success more than others. 
Mexico ranked intelligence highest out of all countries surveyed, while tenacity and perseverance was most valued in China. 
In Brazil (95%) and Mexico (97%) moms were also more likely to feel that it was important to push their children to their full potential.

Views of when childhood development actually begins also differed around the world, with moms in Brazil, 
Mexico and China perceiving development to come later in early life whereas in the 
UK, U.S. and France, development was viewed as beginning around the time of birth. 

"When we dove into those perceptions, we think that the view that development begins later is rooted in the view that development is characterized by those abilities children have when they start exploring and learning how the works—so a bit more advanced developmental capability," says Shore. 
"So not until that point do those parents really view development beginning."

Fisher-Price commissioned the study as a means to better understand how first-time moms viewed various aspects of parenthood, specifically: their perception of what development even means and when it begins; perceptions around the parent’s role in the development process; wishes and dreams of parents for their children; and of course how play relates to all of it. 
It builds off the Best Possible Start platform that launched in early 2015 with the Wishes for Baby campaign.

The company will now take those findings and work to apply them to its marketing and product development efforts. 
But more interestingly, the company is sharing the results publicly.

"This is the fist time we’ve done a research project of this magnitude that we’re willing to share with the world. 
We’ve been a little insular with our research. 
We see it as IP and we keep it close to the vest. 
But we want to bring in other thought leaders," says Mancuso. 
"We see this as another way of doing business; 
talking to not only to consumers, 
but great minds in the realm of childhood development."

Shore adds, "The study was designed to create a body of knowledge that could be a catalyst for conversation about how parenting is viewed around the world.”

In fact, the first thing Fisher-Price is doing with this research is starting a social campaign that invites parents to share their opinions on what they hope most for their children with the hashtag #FPHappyFactor. 
The company is also sharing some highlight from its early childhood development event, The Happy Factor Forum, at which the study’s findings were released. 
Then, in the following weeks, Fisher-Price will launch Grow, a parenting app created in conjunction with Shakira’s Barefoot Foundation, which will feature over 2000 developmental tests and a milestone tracker.

And what of play? Shore says that was another area of consensus, with all countries ranking play as one of the most important and natural ways for a child to learn. 
"In all regions, there was this perspective that childhood is an important time and that it’s important to let children be children," says Shore. 
"As a company involved in play, 
it was great to see that universally."