For their advertisers, Nickelodeon introduced “The Story of Me” Research Study, which takes a look at the viewing habits of children born since 2005. Unfortunately, the study’s results were startling and show that post-millennial kids are watching 35 hours of television per week – the equivalent of a part time job. Despite this statistic, the survey also showed that 80% of post-millennial children desire to be closer to their parents. Most surveyed kids also stated that “academics mattered more than popularity.”
Who are the Post-Millennials?
Post-millennial children are born after 2005. The oldest of this group is turning 9, while most are 8 or younger. Post-millennial kids are way more connected than the generations that came before them. An infographic, published by Common Sense Media, reports that half of all post-millennial babies have used a computer or smartphone before the age of 2. This isn’t surprising, considering Nickelodeon’s study confirms that post-millennial kids devour media on their televisions, tablets, smartphones and gaming systems.
Perhaps a side effect of being more connected than ever, post-millennial kids believe that being “different,” or standing out, is more important than fitting in. In this anti-bullying generation, being smart, funny and nice are status signifiers. If that isn’t enough to melt your heart, consider these same kids trust their mother more than anyone else and have close bonds with their siblings. 7 out of 10 post-millennials said they “love their sibling no matter what.”
Parents Connecting with the Post-Millennial Generation
Post-millennial children seem to be developing differently than any generation prior to them. These kids are watching far more television, playing more video games and most of them have used a mobile device since toddlerhood. Conversely, they’re more into academics and family, so it’s not all bad. As parents, we need to figure out where and how we fit in with these brilliant, albeit time-wasting, post-millennial children.
One option is watching television with our kids. Not only does this provide some genuine bonding time, it also allows you some control over what they’re watching. Cable television isn’t all Spongebob and Adventure Time. There’s a lot of truly educational programming out there. Our family subscribes to Verizon Fios because they offer the fun stuff, such as Nickelodeon, but also many educational channels, including Animal Planet, National Geographic and the Science Channel. It's nice there are some Verizon FiOS promotions available these days, including a low-cost no commitment package.
As parents, we can use media as a teaching tool. My children adore the television program, Too Cute, on Animal Planet. The program features kittens and puppies as they “come of age.” It’s both insanely cute, but also educational because it documents the growth of animals. Afterward, I like to have a question and answer session with my kids wherein I allow them to relate back to me some of what they learned. I’m always surprised by their answers and what they pick up on. I also feel better knowing that their hour of television wasn’t wasted on nonsense, but rather a program we all enjoy and can learn from.
Post-Millennial Confidence and Self-Perception
On a scale from 1-10, how funny does your kid think he is? If his answer is 11, he’s a lot like the other post-millennials surveyed in Nickelodeon’s study. In the study, 11 represented “very funny,” and most kids ranked themselves as “very funny.” Post-millennials also consider themselves happy and intelligent.
As a parent, I’m truly proud of this generation. According to the study, “They are self-assured, with 96% saying they believe they can accomplish anything they want to if they work hard enough.”
This post is not written by The Coffee Chic.