spinning boy
Canadian parents feel they're doing a pretty good job of raising their kids, according to a survey that also reveals that moms miss sleep the most while dads yearn for sex and romance.

On Thursday, Parentdish and research company Vision Critical released the survey results from more than 500 mom and dads across the country about parenting trends.

One third (32 per cent) say they have no regrets about their parenting decisions. This includes going back to work after having kids, being too strict and not paying enough attention to their children. They rank themselves best at education and managing their families' needs (86 and 82 per cent respectively).

However, Canadian parents clearly miss certain aspects of their lives pre-kids. Moms are mostly wistful for: sleeping in (32 per cent),money (23 per cent) and a good body (22 per cent). Dads, on the other hand, miss romance/sex (31 per cent), money (26 per cent) and sleeping in (20 per cent). Another 18 per cent of parents are perfectly happy with the current situation and don't miss anything at all (awww!).

Here are more highlights from the parenting trends survey, including our favourite celebrity parenting role models.

Canadians' fave celebrity parents

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Guilty parenting secret

A third of parents (33 per cent) feel they allow their children to watch TV and play video games more than they should. This far out-ranked letting kids stay up too late (11 per cent) and buying them too many things (9 per cent).

Discipline tactics

Nearly two-thirds of Canadian parents (71 per cent) discipline their kids by taking away privileges. Other popular tactics include discussing behaviour without consequences (43 per cent) and time-outs (32 per cent). Spanking was the least used tactic (6 per cent).

"This survey confirms that parents are in desperate need of new discipline tactics and strategies," says parenting expert Alyson Shafer. "My advice at Parentdish will provide a better understanding of children's behaviour, as well as providing clear, practical and immediately actionable parenting techniques to employ."

Stay-at-home moms and dads

Canadians don't usually stay home with the kids. The majority of respondents (83 per cent) continued working outside the home after having kids. They either didn't take a break at all or returned following a leave. Do Canadians love their jobs that much? No. Sixty-one per cent say they simply "couldn't afford not to."

Parental worries

When it comes to parental concerns, school bulling ranks No. 1 for a third of respondents. Interestingly, 24 per cent of men worry about their relationship with their partner (compared with 16% of women), while 33 per cent of women worry more about the cost of raising children (compared to 21 per cent of men). A minority of parents (6 per cent) don't worry about anything.

Best thing about being a parent

The majority of moms and dads (81 per cent) say watching their children grow and develop is the best part of having kids. Women put a lot of weight on cuddles and unconditional love (61 per cent), as well. Men also enjoy teaching their kids life skills (43 per cent).

Me time

Canadian parents really don't take time for themselves. According to the Parentdish survey, 72 per cent of moms and dads have had two or less nights out in the past month (a third didn't go out once!). Only 11 per cent had gone out more than six times.

"It's amazing how we undervalue the benefits that down time provides to ourselves, our intimate relationships and, ultimately, how it trickles down to our ability to parent our children well," says Schafer. "Burn out is not just a corporate term. Parents burn out, too. Being proactive about preventing burn out should be seen as responsible parenting, not selfishness".

For full survey results, click here.

About the Poll
From August 27 to August 30, 2013, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 507 Canadian English speaking parents aged 18 years old or older with at least one child under the age of 18 in the household who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error - which measures sampling variability - is +/-4.4%, 19 times out of 20. The sample was balanced by gender and region to the profile of Canadian English speaking parents aged 18+. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.


The Advantages Of Exercise & Taking Time For Yourself, from Kelly Ripa