The world is changing fast and there is a pervasive sense of uncertainty in the air. How does growing up in this environment shape kids’ attitudes, experiences and behaviors?

In our latest global study, Kids of the World, we spoke to almost 6,000 kids aged 6 to 11 across 31 countries, spending time with them as well as their families and friends. Unlike a lot of research about kids, the findings in this study aren’t based on what parents or caregivers told us. We talked to kids directly, seeking to understand their perspectives and represent their voices only.

We learned that kids are aware of uncertainty and change – and the world they inhabit can best be described as fluid. Fluidity is present in every aspect of their lives and they accept change as a constant.  In fact, 68% of kids said they feel able to deal with whatever life throws at them.

When it comes to their immediate world, experiences vary greatly from kid to kid, as today’s families come in all structures, shapes and sizes. The particulars aren’t so important to kids, however. What matters to them most is feeling loved, secure and valued.

Since many kids these days have working parents, they spend more time with grandparents, other family members and caregivers. As a result, they have a variety of role models to inspire them and make them feel loved. They can see from their friends how varied family life can be, with different rules for different households. They’re learning that there’s not just one fixed way to live life.

Kids are also conscious of changes in the broader world around them. They are excited by technological progress and see this as positive change. At the same time, they are aware of problems that exist in the wider world.  When we asked kids what global problems they would solve if they had special powers, an end to wars around the world topped their list (61%).  Other issues they would tackle include world hunger (58%), global terrorism (42%) and cancer (42%). Over half (53%) would like to bring happiness to the world as well.

But even when faced with uncertainty and conflict, kids today always view things positively. They feel hopeful and excited about the possibilities ahead of them. They’re supported by their loved ones and equipped to succeed now and in the future – leading them to embrace life with a fearless attitude.