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Families should emphasize marriage over money: NY Post's Markowicz eviscerates Pew's parenting survey results

Photo by Abdullah Unver/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A New York Post columnist is advising parents to reevaluate their priorities after a Pew survey found parents emphasized kids' future financial independence over their future marriages and families.

"This is a giant mistake," Markowicz said in her column.

Nearly nine in ten respondents said it was either extremely important or very important to them that their kids, on reaching adulthood, become financially independent and have jobs or careers they enjoy. By contrast, only about one in five parents said the same about their kids marrying and having children.

Markowicz rightly argues that this is short-sighted and potentially self-defeating, noting family stability and higher income go hand in hand.

"Putting money or career first doesn't work. You can't 'have it all,' but you can have most of it if you're in a stable relationship," she says.

Indeed, marriage remains tightly tied to achieving the American dream.

Part 1 of the 2021 American Compass Home Building survey found marriage was a strong, independent predictor of respondents saying they are living the American dream. The results held across lower, middle, and upper-class respondents.

"Married people in the middle class are as likely to say they are living the American Dream as unmarried people in the upper class. Married people in the lower and working classes are at least as likely to say they are living the American Dream as unmarried people in the middle class," American Compass reported.

Pew's "Parenting in America Today" survey explored a number of additional topics, including parents' deepest concerns for their children.

Mental health topped the list, with about four in ten parents saying they are either extremely or very worried about their kids struggling with anxiety or depression. Bullying was a close second at 35%. Pregnancy and getting in trouble with the police came in at just 16% and 14% respectively.

On post-pandemic parenting styles, about 45% classify themselves as overprotective. Twenty-five percent say they push their kids too hard, and about one in four say they are overly critical of their children.

Those parenting style responses varied considerably by gender. Whereas about half of mothers said they were overprotective, only 38% of fathers said the same. More mothers than fathers also said they give in too quickly, at 40% and 27%, respectively.

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