Parents may joke that children run their households – but businesses would do well to put kids at the centre of their thinking.

A new report from The Insights Family, ‘making it matter’, highlighted trends which point to ‘kidfluence’ and urged organisations to become family-first.

The Manchester-based research body, fourth on our recent MarTech 50 ranking, surveys more than 469,000 kids aged 3-18 and 228,800 parents a year across 22 countries in six continents. 

“We know that nearly 30% of the world’s population are between the ages of 3-18. Kids represent our future,” said Matt Smith, head of its industry knowledge team. 

“The next generation of employees, employers, citizens, voters and consumers. As ‘kidfluence’ becomes even greater in the household, it is only a matter of time before every organisation becomes family-first.”

The Insights Family’s data showed that the family dynamic has changed forever, highlighting the following trends.

Kids are aware of global issues from a younger age

As kids become more exposed to technology and social media, they are more likely to harbour concern for geopolitical and socioeconomic issues too. Globally, since the start of 2021, concerns over animal cruelty (+79%), gender equality (+38%), racism (+18%) and human rights issues (+42%) have all increased. Children as young as 6-9 in the UK rank the environment (#4) and racism (#5) amongst their top concerns.

Trust in TV advertising falls with younger parents

Parents aged 18-25 are -41% less likely to trust adverts they see on TV than the average parent and +72% more likely to trust the recommendations of influencers than parents aged 56+.

Children influence most household purchases – including cars

It might be expected that kids would have influence over household purchases which affect them, such as TV subscriptions (63%) to platforms which contain their favourite shows. However, what has emerged is kid influence growing over categories that might not directly concern them, such as the purchase of new cars (+10% growth year-on-year).

The switched-on and connected generation

Across the 22 countries surveyed, 52% of 3-5 year olds have access to a tablet. 50% of tweens (ages 10-12) watch videos on YouTube while 31% use TikTok. Digitally enabled kids are learning to expect that they can access what they want, when they want.

Do we need to reboot education?

The way kids are processing information and learning new things represents a significant shift in comparison to generations prior. This has led 49% of parents with kids aged 6-9 to worry that the school curriculum is now unsuitable for their children.