LONDON: Brands can find a role in supporting British parents concerned about their child-rearing skills, as new research shows four in five (86%) are not confident they are good enough, with many turning to social media for reassurance.

Media agency Spark Foundry surveyed 1,000 parents with children between the ages of eight and 14 and found the single biggest worry was whether they were making the right decisions for their children’s future career – cited by 40%.

Close behind was keeping their children safe in public (39%), but social media also ranked highly with 35% of today’s parents admitting they have concerns about whether they are cautious enough with how their children use it.

They might also question their own use of the medium: 30% of parents who post about their children and family life on social media do not post honestly but exaggerate and enhance their posts.

But parents have always been prone to talking up their offsprings’ achievements – three in four (76%) said they would exaggerate to their parent peers about their child’s progress in school, with reasoning being so they don’t feel judged or think their child is behind.

The survey additionally found that online safety is continually discussed, most recently regarding concerns over live-streaming and inappropriate content.

Almost a fifth (19%) turn to social media and online forums such as Mumsnet to discuss their worries; a further 72% of parents see social media as a positive influence on parenting, a place where they ease some of the pressures of making the right decisions by communicating with like-minded mums and dads.

John Antoniades, managing director, global business at Spark Foundry, contrasted the strain parents feel that leads them to sometimes put up a façade with the simultaneous desire to talk about their fears.

“The online community is becoming a place of solace,” he suggested. And as parenting changes brands have “an opportunity to reach parents and take a role in reassuring them, to help relieve the pressures and use their influence to remind modern parents that they are good enough.

“Whether it’s through guidance and information or building parenting initiatives, brands can act as a safe resource, at a time when parents need it more than ever.”

Sourced from Spark Foundry; additional content by WARC staff