Call your Mom!

May 1, 2018

As Mother’s Day quickly approaches, many readers are marking their calendars to make a call on May 13. But how often does the average adult child dial his or her Mom during the rest of the year?

A FiveThirtyEight/SurveyMonkey Audience poll conducted in 2016 found that most U.S. mothers do not “feel like chopped liver,” according to the researchers. But, of course, they’d like to hear from you more often.

After surveying 194 mothers with adult kids who live at a distance and 513 adult kids who live apart from their parents, here’s the good news: Most kids are doing their part, FiveThirtyEight reported.

Still, fully 21% of moms said that they’d like to hear from their kids more than once a day.

It’s no surprise that twice a day is characterized as just “too often” for more than 90% of adult kids, who told the researchers that a “reasonable expectation” would be once a day or less.

However, adult kids do expect to be in touch fairly frequently: Over half (54%) said that they should call weekly or a couple of times a week, and luckily for them, that’s exactly what almost half of moms (49%) expected.

When kids and moms do talk, it tends to be on the phone, but it might not involve a voice call. Moms reported that they were most likely to hear from their children by text, while kids ranked texts second after phone calls.

Forty-one percent of kids reported that they contacted their mothers less often than they felt they should. Only 23% of mothers felt that their children weren’t contacting them as often as they would like—and, in fact, fully 8% percent of mothers would like to hear from their children a little less.

We, personally, haven’t met those mothers—but maybe they have very large families.

 Research contact: leah.libresco@fivethirtyeight.com

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