Children turn to friends and parents for product information

Friends, the internet and television advertisements are sources of product information for children aged six to 11 in the US, according to new research from Mintel.

But the research company also finds almost half of kids (48%) still learn about new things they want to do or own from their parents.

While 48% still makes mum or dad viable sources of information when it comes to the hottest toy or activity, the most trusted resource is friends at school.

Eight four per cent of six to 11-year-olds say they find out about new things from their classmates, and television advertisements are a close second with 81% of kids. Keeping it in the family, 40% also say they turn to an older brother or sister for guidance.

“At the upper end of the age range, kids aged nine to 11 are more likely to turn to more diverse resources for information, including online ads and social networking sites, while the younger kids, aged six to eight, have a stronger reliance on parents,” said Fiona O’Donnell, senior analyst at Mintel. “Much of this, obviously, has to do with the maturation of the individual and the exposure to a wider variety of media sources, especially the internet.”

The top source of kids’ spending money is helping with chores (47%). Thirty-nine percent of kids surveyed say they get an allowance, compared to 20% who don’t receive spending money at all, but say their parents buy them whatever they need. According to Mintel, kids between the ages of six to 11 who earn money from chores around the house receive an average of $7.35 a week.

“While cleaning up their room, taking care of the pet, setting the table, taking out the garbage and house cleaning are the chores six to 11-year olds are most likely assigned, responsibilities in the household vary by age and gender,” said O’Donnell.

“Boys aged nine to 11 are more likely than girls or younger boys to take out the rubbish and mow the lawn, while girls aged nine to 11 are more likely than boys and younger girls to take care of the laundry and do the dishes.”