Parents and Kids Share Common Interests
By George Anderson
Something is happening today that didn’t take place in previous generations. Parents and kids are hanging out together because they share the same hobbies.
Mike and Kameron Bednarz are a prime example, according to a report by The Associated Press. The father and son like a lot of the same things: snowboarding, playing guitar and video games.
Kameron Diaz, eight-years-old, thinks its cool having his father go to the skating park with him to do rail slides. Aside from the receding hairline, Dad could just be a big kid.
Chuck Underwood, founder of The Generational Imperative Inc., said many 30- and 40-something parents have similar relationships with their kids. “The shared experiences between parent and child are shifting. Instead of fathers teaching their sons how to play sports or use tools, now they’ve got video games.”
Some experts see parents’ desire to spend more pal time with their kids as a reaction to having parents apparently more focused on careers than their relationships with their kids and spouses. The high incidence of divorce is said to have contributed to the distance many GenX children felt between them and their parents.
Bill Strauss, a generational expert and co-author of Millennials and the Pop Culture, said, “On the whole, they’re correcting for this. They’re not going to allow their own children to be left alone.”
Others caution, however, that as close as parents want to be with their kids, there comes a point in a child’s development when the gap between generations becomes inevitable.
Kathleen Gasperini, senior vice president of the youth culture marketing research firm Label Networks, said, “There’ll come a time when they look at their 14-year-old and say, ‘I have no idea who you are.'”
Mike Bednarz is hoping that Kameron will still think its cool to go skating with his Dad even then.
Moderator’s Comment: What does the growing number of parents and kids sharing hobbies mean for retailers and other consumer marketers? –
George Anderson – Moderator