A child growing up is a source of pride, wistfulness and concern for the parents - new adults need support in managing their affairs
According to a recent survey, 64 percent of parents feel pride when their child comes of age, but 25 percent of them are also worried. The survey was conducted among guardians of young people turning 18 in 2023.
The survey was carried out in late 2022 and 1,000 guardians responded to it. The survey is part of the joint campaign of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, the Finnish Tax Administration, the police, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), Ohjaamo One-Stop Guidance Centers and Traficom to new adults and their families in independent service usage.
Over 58,300 Finnish young people will turn 18 this year. Coming of age is an expected and significant moment for young people and their families. With it, the young person gains responsibilities and obligations that have previously been borne by the family's guardian. A recent survey found that more than half of the guardians are, above all, proud of their adult children, but at the same time more than half (54%) of them feel wistful towards the situation.
One quarter of the parents feel concern towards their children’s independence
Up to one quarter (25%) of the respondents also say they are concerned about the change. Guardians believe that there are many issues related to independence, financial management and life management to challenge young people. They estimate that young people need a lot of support in the early stages, especially with the electricity contracts (77%), home insurance (76%) and housing loans (75%), as well as in managing taxes (72%) and applying for housing or study subsidies (63%).
The guardians estimate that young people need less support in applying for a passport (41%) and in home maintenance (43%), as examples. Almost all of the guardians believe that young people behave responsibly both online (90%), in traffic (89%) and with alcohol consumption (84%).
"The results support our preconception regarding the need for information and guidance in a changing situation. At the same time, the answers will help us guide and develop our operation further. Personally, I am also very pleased that parents say that they are, above all, proud of their grown children. So am I,” says Liinu Lehto, Director of Communications at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
Changes are talked about in almost all families - support also available on the Suomi.fi
Almost all guardians (97%) said that they had discussed adulthood with young people. 22% of the respondents had talked a great deal about the matter, and 54% of the respondents had some amount of discussion. For young people learning new things, guardians are important support, which is why it is a good idea to maintain a dialogue at home.
Changes also evoke many kinds of emotions in families. Ongoing discussion is equally valuable for guardians that may be feeling melancholy, one quarter of whom express concern about their lessening role in the child's life and one fifth (22%) about the fact that they no longer know everything about their child's life.
"Coming of age is often only considered a matter for a young person, but in practice, the change can be significant for the whole family. We aim to do our part to alleviate the situation by encouraging families to talk about the situation, and by offering an information package for new adults on the Suomi.fi website,” says Liinu Lehto, Director of Communications at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
This year, the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, the police, the Tax Administration, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) and Traficom will run the joint campaign for new adults for the fourth time. Its purpose is to reach young people who are turning 18 in 2023, with, for example, an informative greeting card and through social media. The campaign will guide young people and their guardians to find information on the Suomi.fi/18year website.
A total of 1,000 guardians of children born in 2004 and 2005 responded to the survey. The sample is nationally representative by gender and residential area. The study was carried out by Norstat Finland, commissioned by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, and the data was collected in the company's consumer panel, NorstatPanel, from 1 December to 11 December 2022. The target groups were the parents of a new adult or one about to turn 18.
Hints from the authorities for new adults and their guardians at suomi.fi/18year.
The data produced in the study will be considered in by organisations involved in the planning and development of official communications and services. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency is responsible for carrying out the survey and campaign together with its partners: the Police, the Tax Authority, Ohjaamo Centers, Kela and Traficom.