“These are truly unprecedented times for parents, as they do not have the ability to turn to older friends or relatives for advice about what to do in the face of such uncertainty. Parents are coming away from the pandemic carrying more emotional weight, as their concerns about the negative impact of protective measures like holding children back from events is driving them to second-guess their choices and give in to children more. Inflationary conditions will keep the focus on the value of money – a concept parents are prioritizing teaching their children. In today’s omnichannel environment, every touchpoint is an opportunity to provide helpful information to guide parents and a source of inspiration for children.”

– Carol Wong-Li, Director – Consumers and Cultures

This report covers the following issues:

  • Children’s participation in family leisure activities and meals
  • Parents as role models and developing children’s independence
  • Impact of the pandemic on parenting choices and on children’s development
  • Teaching children about the concept of value
  • Influences on parental decisions for the household
  • Influences on what children ask for

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
    • Families: a small and mighty bunch
    • Inflationary conditions are a top concern for three quarters of Americans
    • Attention needs to be paid to the mental health of children and teens
    • Opportunities
    • Empowering children to make good choices for themselves is key as parents prioritize developing children’s independence
      • Figure 1: Attitudes towards parenting and prioritizing children’s independence (any agree), 2022
    • Parents are teaching kids about value and quality is at the heart of the equation
      • Figure 2: Top factors considered when teaching children to recognize value of a purchase (any rank), 2022
    • Every touchpoint has the potential to operate as a point of influence in today’s omnichannel environment
      • Figure 3: Sources of information that influence decisions what kids ask for, 2022
    • Challenges
    • The pandemic is taking a toll on being a child now, as well as on confidence in parenting
      • Figure 4: Impact of the pandemic on childhood and parenting (any agree), 2022
    • Key consumer insights
    • Parents are reliant on word of mouth as well as recommendations from professionals as information sources
    • Kids ask for things from their immediate social and entertainment circles
    • Making household decisions is a collaborative effort
    • Travel: parents pick the destination, children pick the activities
    • Home entertainment: togetherness is a key aspect
  3. Market Factors

    • Inflationary conditions are a concern for parents, particularly moms
    • In general, family households tend to be more affluent
      • Figure 5: Share of US households, by presence of own children, 2020
      • Figure 6: Median household income, by type of household, 2020
    • Rising prices are a concern for the majority of Americans – including parents
      • Figure 7: Consumer Price Index – Change from previous period, 2007-22
      • Figure 8: Top issues of concern over next six months, US, 2022
      • Figure 9: Calgary Public Library Facebook post, 2022
    • Single parents will need more support, particularly single moms
      • Figure 10: Perception of financial health, 2022
      • Figure 11: Flipp Instagram post, 2021
    • National emergency in child and adolescent mental health
  4. Competitive Strategies and Current Opportunities

    • Meeting consumer needs through the lens of the Wellbeing Trend Driver
    • The rules around managing wellness are changing
    • Children’s mental wellness is top of mind for parents
      • Figure 12: Challenges kids are currently experiencing: anxiety, 2022
      • Figure 13: Sproutel, Inc. Instagram post, 2020
    • The door is open for all companies to have a voice in helping to manage mental wellness
      • Figure 14: Dove Men+Care Instagram post, 2020
      • Figure 15: Dove Men+Care Global Channel, 2021
    • Meeting consumer needs through the lens of the Experiences Trend Driver
    • In-person moments will appeal to parents
      • Figure 16: Lego Instagram post, 2022
      • Figure 17: Lego Instagram post, 2022
    • Meeting consumer needs through the lens of the Surroundings and Value Trend Driver
    • Inflationary conditions and rising gas prices mean local tourism is well positioned to shine
  5. Kids’ Impact on Household Decisions – Fast Facts

  6. Children’s Involvement in Deciding Activities

    • Unsurprisingly, kids hold considerable sway
      • Figure 18: Children’s influence on household decisions, 2022
    • Vacations: parents pick the destination, children pick the activities
      • Figure 19: Children’s influence on travel decisions, by age of children at home, 2022
    • Consider ways to fuel the fire of excitement by providing teasers to sustain anticipation
      • Figure 20: Cape Town Tourism Facebook post, 2022
    • Making destinations acceptable for children
    • Out-of-home activities: moms are more collaborative than dads when choosing venues
      • Figure 21: Children’s influence on deciding out-of-home activities, mothers vs fathers with under-18s at home, 2022
    • Consider layering on benefits of out-of-home activities to increase appeal
      • Figure 22: Share Reel Love for Father’s Day, 2017
      • Figure 23: Lucky Chinatown Facebook post, 2021
    • Home entertainment: kids are most likely to hold sway here
      • Figure 24: Children’s influence on in-home entertainment decisions, by age of children at home, 2022
    • Home-entertainment pairs well with snacks – both are good bonding opportunities
      • Figure 25: Milk Bar Instagram post, 2021
  7. Parenting Priorities and Concerns

    • Parents want their children to grow up independent and worry about the long-term effects of the pandemic
      • Figure 26: Attitudes towards parenting and perceived impact of the pandemic (any agree), 2022
    • Brand efforts that empower parents to help their children make good choices will resonate
      • Figure 27: Greenlight Facebook post, 2021
      • Figure 28: Raising Financially Smart Kids with Greenlight, 2021
      • Figure 29: Kostministeriet Facebook posts, 2020
    • Parents of 6-11s are more likely to see a lasting negative impact
      • Figure 30: Attitudes towards parenting and perceived impact of the pandemic (any agree), by age of children at home, 2022
    • Consider ways to help parents celebrate achievements children have made during the pandemic
    • Resources that tap into what’s available at home to help children’s development will appeal
    • Products that encourage children to develop self-love amongst youngsters will pique interests
      • Figure 31: Starburst Instagram post, 2021
  8. Teaching Children about Value

    • Teaching children about value is a priority
      • Figure 32: Top factors considered when teaching children to recognize value of a purchase (any rank), 2022
    • Leverage storytelling to prove quality and an educational moment
      • Figure 33: Apetit Instagram post, 2020
    • Affluence plays a role in the aspects of quality prioritized
      • Figure 34: Considering durability and high-quality materials when teaching children to recognize value of a purchase (any rank), by household income, 2022
    • Taking steps to stand behind products matters to less-affluent parents
      • Figure 35: Patagonia Instagram post, 2021
    • Tying in broader benefits to high-quality materials will appeal to more-affluent parents.
      • Figure 36: Cauldron Foods Instagram posts, 2022
      • Figure 37: Recess Coconut Lime Sparkling Water (USA), 2020
      • Figure 38: C’est Qui Le Patron?! Instagram post, 2021
    • Price is a greater focus for moms
      • Figure 39: Considering low price when teaching children to recognize value of a purchase (any rank), mothers vs fathers with under-18s at home, 2022
    • Consider making the value of loyalty programs tangible for both parents and children
      • Figure 40: President’s Choice, 2022
      • Figure 41: No Frills Instagram post, 2020
  9. Sources of Influence on Parental Decisions and What Kids Ask For

    • Word of mouth is key, though outside sources are attended to by parents
      • Figure 42: Sources of information that influence decisions parents make for the household, 2022
    • Engage both parents and kids through experiential elements that are also educational
      • Figure 43: Waffles + Mochi Instagram post, 2021
    • Providing resources for more discussions around mental health will resonate with parents of teens
      • Figure 44: Children experiencing anxiety, by age, 2022
    • Like parents, word of mouth is a top influence, though brand efforts are also a factor
      • Figure 45: Sources of information that influence decisions what kids ask for, 2022
    • Consider ways to harvest excitement from existing entertainment launches or releases
      • Figure 46: Raddish Kids Instagram posts, 2021
  10. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


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