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Brief Published: 17 Jul 2015

Gen Z Influence Parents

Some 58% of UK kids say their parents are their best friends

Children and teens are strongly influencing household lifestyles as families grow closer, according to a report published by global research firm Mintel this month.

Almost 60% of British children say their parents are their best friends, while 40% of parents say they're closer to their kids than their parents were to them, the study found.

Mintel suggests that the lines between childhood and parenthood are blurring, as parents watch the same TV shows, listen to the same music and even wear the same clothing brands as their kids. This closeness boosts the effect of 'pester-power', where children convince parents to buy things for them.

However, children's influence goes beyond purchases just for themselves, suggests Ina Mitskavets, senior consumer and lifestyles analyst at Mintel. Growing numbers of parents are discussing options with their kids and empowering them to be more independent.

Modern connected lifestyles give kids a particularly strong appetite for new products, suggests Mitskavets: "This generation of children has grown up with multiple screens and their entire childhood has been marked by easy and fast access to apps, information, ideas, as well as adverts and new products. Today's kids, as no other generation before them, demand constant transformation to hold their attention."

For more insights into modern households and how to engage with young consumer groups, see Meet the Millennial Parents and Marketing to Kids.