Heartwarming research reveals the one thing most parents save from kids’ childhoods - and many wish they had saved ‘even more’

Nearly all parents of adult children have kept a keepsake from their younger years, new research shows - and it's a sweet reminder that no matter how old you are, you're still your parents' child

Mum with their adult daughter
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A new poll of parents with adult children has revealed the heartwarming childhood keepsake 'nearly all' of them have kept ahold of as their kids have grown up - and many participants urged parents of young kids to save 'even more' momentos.  

For parents of newborns and toddlers, it might seem preposterous to think that you could ever miss the disjointed sleep patterns of a newborn, the lack of sleep you yourself get because of it, the toddler tantrums, the hitting that some young kids seem to really enjoy - the list could go on. But, as parents of adult children will tell you, you will one day look back on all of that with at least some sense of nostalgia. 

It's a fact highlighted by new research conducted by YouGov. Polling a huge selection of parents whose children are now adults, the research found that nearly all of them have held onto at least one memento from their children’s childhoods, and one third wish they had saved even more.

So what are they clinging onto? 95% of them have held onto photos and videos from when their kids were younger, with artwork they made in childhood coming in at a close second.  Awards, certificates and school report cards are also a popular keepsake, with sweet cards or letters they received for birthdays and big events also being stowed away. 

Less popular keepsakes included toys, a lock of hair, baby clothes, and baby teeth. 

But the main takeaway from the research, that parents whose kids are still experiencing their childhood today should take note of, is that hardly any of the parents polled say they wish they hadn't kept as much as they did, with 35% even saying they wished they had kept more!

So while it may feel a tad OTT to cling onto everything, you probably won't regret it in the years to come. And if you do, you can always do a spring clean out at a later date. 

In other family news, we share the likely reason you're struggling with your 7-year-old and a mum has taken to the internet to highlight the 'exhausting' six shifts we put in with kids. Plus, half of gay and lesbian parents asked ‘invasive questions’ about family life, leading to anxiety about not fitting in according to new study. 

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.