This Is Our Audience: Kids and Family
Globally, kids are growing up in a world that’s different from the one in which their parents came of age. Terrorism threatens to strike in unlikely places, a weak economy remains a problem, and the march of technology moves forward at a rapid pace.
Today’s kids will only know a world that feels less stable than what their parents knew as children—additionally, they will never know a world without high-speed internet and interactive screens.
Parents today are in uncharted territory, as they raise their kids in this transforming environment. Because kids are being raised so differently, the values they embrace are shifting.
So, what does this all mean for families today?
A new video summarizes some key themes from Nickelodeon Kids and Family GPS’s conversations with over 60,000 kids and parents in 24 countries in 2015. Here are a few insights captured in this video:
Parents are protective and strict, producing a generation of responsible kids. Parents are understandably anxious, yet also want their kids to feel independent. To achieve both goals, they seek out environments where kids can make their own choices—within limits that parents control.
Mobile devices are a source of independence for kids, allowing them to pursue their own interests. The shared TV set can mean having to watch what siblings or other family members choose—so mobile devices give kids the opportunity to choose their content. At different ages, kids have different digital tendencies. Preschoolers want to watch the same shows repeatedly, while older kids use tablets to stay up to date and ready to discuss the content their peers talk about at school.
For kids, there is fluidity between the digital and real worlds. Fandom often takes up residence in this space. Mobile devices allow kids to connect with local friends in new ways, with real-world interactions colored by social media happenings. In the digital world at large, kids can transcend their hometowns by connecting deeply with people, things or ideas they’re passionate about—and experimenting with new identities in the process. These fandoms often produce an opportunity to bond with peers, near or far, who share those interests.