It is no surprise that kids like to speak their mind. Kids, for the most part, when given the opportunity to express themselves (or even if you don’t ask them), will tell you how they feel and what they think about a given subject.
It is important that you listen to them as they are sincere and mean no harm. Sometimes their comments may be considered to be rude or even too direct, but, keep in mind that kids are simply sharing what they saw, what they heard or what someone else may have said. Don’t over-analyze it - if you do, you will be putting your own opinion and feelings into the equation.
Focus Groups are a way to gather information from these kids to better target specific age-ranges, cultural backgrounds, ethnicity, social status, etc.
I recently participated in an international focus group with kids from Central America. One of the questions asked was: “Who decides for the most part where to go out and eat?” It seems like a very basic question. One that requires a very basic answer given multiple answers as choices. The answers were:
A) My father
B) My mother
C) Both decide
D) I decide
One of the kids marked down options A and options E. Under “other”, he wrote: “When my dad is not home, my mom’s boyfriend decides, but my dad decides most of the time”.
I have nothing else to say, except, YIKES!