US Insights

My kid is my BFF

Frank Kelly

SVP. Global Marketing and Strategy

Brands 07.27.2015 / 19:20


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New study shows more Millennials than Gen Xers call their children their best friends, shift in family decision-making

The parent-child relationship in Millennial households looks much more peer-to-peer than "parent knows best," a new study shows. Specifically, Millennial moms-mothers who are Millennials-are pushing the existing trend of collegiality and "buddy" culture between parents and their children to a whole new level.

More than 54% of Millennial parents now describe their child(ren) as "one of my best friends," according to the market research study by The Family Room LLC in partnership with FocusVision and Kantar's Lightspeed GMI. The study, which looked at the decision-making patterns of US families, reveals that whether it's a question of time spent at home, time spent in stores, or time spent apart, the new parent-child relationship in Millennial households is much more peer-like than in Gen X households.

"Many of us have been watching closely as Millennials progress from babies, to kids, to tweens, and on to being young adults. But now they are getting married and starting families, and this new study offers a fascinating new perspective into how their well-known generational values as young adults is translating to the parenting years," said George Carey, founder and CEO of The Family Room.

The study, highlights of which will be released as a white paper late this summer, was in part an exploration of the new roles and relationships that exist in Millennial families and the remarkable differences from Gen X families.  A few of the questions asked during the research included: What does the parent child relationship look like?  What is the nature of Millennial moms' and dads' interactions with their kids? How is this different from those of Gen X parents?  

Carey continued, "These insights on the new parent/child relationship raise a lot of questions about traditional youth, mom, and family marketing tactics which have long portrayed moms as the family 'gatekeeper.' From insight gathering to brand renovation and innovation, succeeding with Millennial families will mean opening the aperture from the study of the individuals that make up a family, to the inter-connected web through which Millennial moms, dads, and kids made decisions."

The study, which united both quantitative and qualitative technologies through research company FocusVision, was based in ground-breaking methodology which helped humanize quantitative data with instant qualitative video responses, among other approaches. A comprehensive sample provided by Lightspeed GMI covered core family groups from the Millennial and Gen X generations, with a mixture of general population, Hispanic and African American family groups.

Source: Lightspeed

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