It is not difficult to understand why good parents factor the needs of their children into their purchasing decisions. But, exactly how much influence do children have on your purchasing decisions? And how much influence should you allow them?

How Children Influence Our Choices
Global studies have shown that millennial parents are placing increased value on their children when it comes to making purchases. A recent poll conducted in the US revealed that 55% of homeowners over 35 with a child under 18 said that the opinion of their child played an important factor in their home buying decision. For millennial parents, the influence grows to nearly 75%.

Looking within our own continent, a Nigerian study conducted by Research Leap in 2015 revealed that most parents make purchasing decisions with their children at the centre of their choices. According to the findings: “What their children want or like is the most important criterion they consider when making the final decision to buy.”

According to a final study conducted in Potchefstroom in 2016, buyers with children shared an emphasis on the number of bedrooms, quality of kitchen, and number of bathrooms a home had, rating these as the most important features of the home. On the other hand, for couples without children and single buyers, the focus was on security systems, the appearance of the house, quality of built-in cupboards, and the size of the garage and parking space.

How Much Influence Should We Allow?

What is interesting about the Potchefstroom study is to see which features become less important to buyers when they have children. While it is right to prioritise certain features, you should also be careful not to overlook other important features like security and parking space. Though parking space might not be an issue when your children are young, it can become an issue when your children turn eighteen and purchase cars of their own.

Finally, while it is important to consider your child’s needs, their preferences, on the other hand, can change weekly. You’re going to be paying off your home loan for the next twenty to thirty years, so it is better not to allow your children too much say in superficial things like how the house looks or whether there is a treehouse in the back garden, for example.

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