BBDO Canada

BBDO Canada

February 02, 2011 11:00 ET

Canadian Study Finds Young Moms Seek a More Team Approach to Raising Kids Than Previous Generations

Millennial Moms Want Their Children to Experience Low Tech, Simple Play

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 2, 2011) - In a first-of-its-kind Canadian study, a team of researchers has found that Millennial Moms are applying their open, team-based, problem-solving style to motherhood and they want their children to experience the simpler play of earlier generations.

The Millennial generation, those born in the early 1980's to early 2000, are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in Canadian history. They are also the largest single generational group in history, and findings show that they are planning on having more children -- and earlier -- than previous generations of Gen Xers (born mid-1960's to late 1970s) and Boomers (born 1947-1966). The national study was conducted by BBDO Canada and Curiosity Inc. and compared Millennial Moms with Gen X and Boomer moms in Canada.

"Millennial Moms navigate the world much differently than Gen Xers and Boomers and they will approach motherhood differently than any generation before them as well. They are going to change the game of parenting," said Adrianne Gaffney, Vice President Account Planner, BBDO Canada and the lead strategist of the study.

According to Gaffney, Millennial Moms are extremely collaborative and they look for support from a diverse group of people, including dads, grandparents, and caregivers. They like to take information from various sources, consult with people they trust and make their own decisions for a very customized approach to motherhood. Many actively choose to be a mom at earlier stages of their lives and although they seek rich, multi-faceted lives, they feel less pressure to do it all at once than previous generations.

The findings challenged some perceptions about how these moms use technology in raising their children. The majority rely on the web for immediate information and problem solving and less so to seek out community online. Although technology facilitates a world of factual support and knowledge in their everyday lives, their true sense of community comes from face-to-face contact and personal connections.

"Millennial Moms are very comfortable consuming large amounts of information and are less likely to turn to an authority when deciding how they are going to approach parenting issues. The findings challenged what everyone has told us about this generation of moms. Yes they are connected through a variety of devices like never before, but they're also telling us that they value lived experiences for them and their children," said Karen Ward, Founder and Managing Partner, Curiosity Inc., the lead researcher of the study.

Millennial Moms have a deep commitment to fostering their children's curiosity. They want to let their children experience life fully so they encourage "high touch, low tech" play and are looking for toys and experiences that draw on a child's imagination—whether that's from the re-introduction of simpler toys that children of earlier generations enjoyed, or the freedom to engage in imaginative, unstructured play outdoors.

Among the key findings from the study:

  • Motherhood is a Team Sport
    • They are networkers and collaborators. They grew up working in teams and learning from one another as much as they did from authority figures.
  • Choose Your Own Adventure
    • Millennial Moms are less likely to accept tradition and replicate what others have done before them. They will go to a number of sources such as their own mothers, or friends (both online and offline), websites, and blogs for input and then make their own decisions.
  • Go with the Flow Motherhood
    • Millennial Moms see motherhood as a process of discovery for themselves and their children. They are less likely to try to live up to an ideal of motherhood or being a perfect mom and they are less likely to over-program or "helicopter" over their children.
  • The Mompreneur
    • Their drive for integration and self-expression has this generation of moms enjoying entrepreneurial pursuits and their home businesses are often influenced by their role as a mother. Whether it's blogging or hosting a website about parenthood to selling birthday cakes, they blend their entrepreneurial spirit with their role as a mother.
  • Dad as Partner; Kids as Collaborators
    • Dad is more involved than ever before: he wants to be there and she wants him there. His skills are a complementary force to mom's skills and abilities. He is not happy to be seen as helpless or as an extra kid that mom has to deal with. Children also contribute to the team dynamic, as mom looks to all members of the family to support its growth and development.

The study's multi-phase approach included an extensive literature review and in-depth interviews with Millennial Moms, as well as Gen X and Boomer moms for comparative purposes. A visual anthropologist, who is also a Millennial, participated in the research activities and helped to analyze rituals, behaviours and cultural norms of the groups.

About Curiosity Inc.

Curiosity Inc. (www.curiosityinc.com) is a research, innovation and education company that helps individuals and organizations discover and articulate insights and opportunities that lead to brand, product, and service and experience innovation.

About BBDO Canada

BBDO (www.bbdo.ca) manages the communication needs of many of Canada's largest and best-known brands and has consistently earned a creative reputation that places us among the top creative agencies in Canada. BBDO Canada is a subsidiary of BBDO Worldwide, which is part of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com), a leading global advertising, marketing and corporate communications company. BBDO has topped the Big Won Report as the most awarded agency network in the world for the last four consecutive years and named the world's most awarded network in the Gunn Report for five years in a row.

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