Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What Kids Really Want

A few days ago, I wrote a piece about playing low/tech and no/tech games with my kids. Likewise, Domestik Goddess has a great blog entry about an old-school book of fun activities that her mother owned. A link to her blog is on my sidebar. It's a thoughtful piece.

Meanwhile, this survey from the Center for New American Dream, a nonprofit consumer group, is really eye-opening and hits the same theme about what really matters to kids. Here is the release:

"Family and Friends are Most Important
* 90% of kids 9-14 say that friends and family are way more important than things that money can buy.

* 57% would rather spend time doing something fun with their mom or dad than go to the mall to go shopping.

Time Starvation is a Huge Problem
* Less than one in three kids 9-14 (32%) say they spend a lot of time with their parents.

* Nearly one in four (23%) say this is primarily because their parents are too busy because of work.

* Almost one in five (19%) say this is primarily because they are overscheduled with homework or school activities.

Kids Want Job Flexibility for their Parents

* If they were granted one wish that would change their parents' job, 63% of kids 9-14 would want their mom or dad to have a job that gave them more time to do fun things together.

* Only 13% wished their parents made more money.

The Pressure to Have it All is Intense

* 63% express concern that there is too much advertising that tries to get kids to buy things.

* 58% feel pressure to buy stuff in order to fit in.

* 74% worry that advertising that tries to get kids to buy things causes trouble between kids and parents.

* 74% say it's too bad you have to buy certain things to be cool.

* 81% complain that lots of kids place way too much importance on buying things."

"In the Art/Essay Contest "What Do Kids Really Want That Money Can't Buy?" sponsored by the Center for a New American Dream, the most common answers were "love," "happiness," "peace on earth," and "friends." Significant numbers of children also wanted time with family, a clean environment, a world where people treat each other with respect, a chance to see lost loved ones, help for suffering people, health, and time to play."

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