Younger Dads Can't Say No To Entertaining Their Kids


Millennial parents (ages 18-35 in 2012) are willing to spend more than their older counterparts to entertain their families, according to Mintel.

While some 42% of parents surveyed are spending less on family entertainment now than they were a year ago, more than one-third (36%) of Millennials are spending more, compared to just 17% of non-Millennial parents.

The biggest spenders are younger dads ages 18-34, whose spending habits in this sector show a disparity with older fathers and all mothers. Nearly eight in 10 (79%) younger dads spend less than $300 per month on family entertainment. However, 21% of this segment spends more than $300 a month, versus only 11% of men over 35 and 7% of females 18 to 34 years old.

“Dads’ spending habits reflect their tendency to take a more relaxed approach to family activities, compared to moms who are typically the budget makers and enforcers,” says Gretchen Grabowski, travel and leisure analyst at Mintel. “Many dads see their role as one of choosing fun activities that instantly gratify their kids. The likelihood that dads are the primary spenders in this sector, both in money and time, opens the door for marketers to target this group for family entertainment promotions.”

Nearly three in 10 parents (29%) surveyed say budget restrictions prevent their families from participating in their entertainment activities of choice, and some 25% say that kids’ extracurricular obligations lessen their available time. Work obligations are also a primary barrier for young parents. One-quarter of 18- to-34-year-olds say their spouse or partner doesn’t have time for family activities due to time spent working -- a larger share than any older age group surveyed.



“While spending recreational time with family is important to parents, the cost of entertainment activities continues to be a concern,” Grabowski says. “Marketers have incentive to consider other ways to make budget-friendly home entertainment more appealing to families, as well as introduce activities that are educational as well as fun. Younger dads should also be given a more pronounced role in this sector, as they are the most inclined to invest more time and money in family entertainment activities.”

Parents aren’t the only ones who think family time is special. While 91% of parents surveyed agree that their family usually has a good time when they’re together, 77% of kids ages 6-11 say they like spending time with their family and 73% of 12- to 17-year-olds say they really like to be with their family.

“The fact that kids enjoy family bonding is not just a nice thing, but also important to their development. Marketers should explore more ways to focus their promotions on family activities that are recreational, and foster the educational and social development of young children,” Grabowski says.

"Father And Son Playing Video Game photo from Shutterstock"

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