CCK Study: Are Canadian parents leaving kids’ mental well-being off the dinner table?

Homework, healthy eating and physical activity are hot topics – but not stress management

Despite ranking the mental well-being of their kids as the top concern, Canadian parents aren’t talking about it with them. According to new data from Taking the Pulse of Canada’s Kids: A Landmark Study on Physical, Social, Emotional and Mental Well-being, by Companies Committed to Kids (CCK), parents and kids are much more likely to discuss schoolwork (90 per cent), healthy eating (69 per cent), physical activity (61 per cent), friendships (57 per cent) and technology/media (51 per cent) over managing stress (28 per cent). 

“Today’s kids need help managing the daily stressors in their lives and parents need to be proactive about exploring feelings, discussing coping strategies and managing life’s ups and downs”, says Dr. Debra Pepler, Scientific Co-Director of PREVNet and Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at York University. “It is well established that children’s mental health is linked to the frequency of having discussions about both the positive as well as the challenging aspects of daily life. The dinner table, a car ride or couch time represent perfect places and opportunities to have these conversations.”

“CCK has a history of providing solutions and conversation starters to tough issues kids may face daily.” says Bev Deeth, President of CCK. “It is encouraging to see that parents are talking to their children about important facets of their life like homework and healthy active living and they can use these topics as a springboard to dig deeper and get at issues that may affect their child’s mental well-being.”

In the same study, parents ranked resiliency as the most important factor of a child’s mental well-being with over half (51 per cent) indicating they could use more support in this area.

About this study

Taking the Pulse of Canada’s Kids is a first-of-its-kind study for CCK as it incorporates insights from both parents and children from across the country. It was developed in close collaboration with industry partners and leading child well-being experts, including Kids Help Phone, Dr. Debra Pepler, Scientific CoDirector of PREVNet, The Psychology Foundation of Canada, The Sandbox Project, and YMCA Canada; and fielded by research partner Strategic Navigator via online survey. The study polled 1,001 Canadians parents of children ages 8-12, representing a diverse range of regions and demographics. Respondents were asked for permission to have their children also participate in the study, and over 85 per cent agreed. Results are accurate with a tolerance of 2.6 per cent at a 95 per cent confidence level.