In decades past, children were seen and not heard while parents made decisions based on what suited them – without consulting their offspring.
But thanks to the increasingly child-centric culture, parents make all big family decisions based on the needs and wants of their children, new research has revealed.
Nine out of 10 parents now say they routinely involve their children in family decision making no matter what age they are.
According to the study, commissioned by Best Western Hotels, children get to decide what the family watch on TV, where they holiday, what they eat for supper and even what they do on days out.
Almost three quarters of the 2,000 parents polled encourage children to speak out and say exactly how they are feeling, whether good or bad.
By contrast, 65 per cent of those born a generation ago admit they were neither offered nor took any role in making family decisions when they were young.
As a result, say parents, today’s children grow up expecting, and largely getting, exactly what they want.
Not that their doting mothers and fathers see that as a bad thing: 77 per cent say their children are likely to achieve far more than they themselves ever did because they are used to having to take part in family decisions from a very young age.
‘Parents have always wanted the best for their children,’ said Best Western Director of Marketing, Tim Wade.
‘But our customers are telling us that their children are far savvier now; they know exactly what they want from an early age and are encouraged to ask for it. They’re involved in some of the major purchasing decisions where they mightn’t have been before.
‘Back when today’s parents were children that very rarely happened. Children were an add-on to family events.
‘Today they are at the very heart of everything a family does and their decisions carry as much, often more, weight than the likes and dislikes of their parents. Modern children are savvy, know what they want from an early age and are encouraged to ask for it.’
by Susan Floyd