Editor's note: Pam Goldfarb Liss is founder of Minneapolis research firm LitBrains-Igniting Ideas! 

Ever wonder what to do with parents when working with kids and teens in online qualitative research projects? Parents are already “recruited” as part of every kid/teen project – why not use their input to support your kid/teen learning, too?

For many years now, I have used an important two-part recruiting process that encourages interviewing parents first, then children. This ensures that children under 18 are articulate, savvy consumers of your client’s product or service. It also is an opportunity to bring parents into the process beyond just getting their permission for their kids to participate. Most often I make parents a part of both my in-person and online work to create a feeling of transparency and cooperation. The result of this collaboration produces a feeling of safety in our data-weary world to encourage a more productive kid and teen respondent – especially more recently with Generation Z. 

Some of the factors that contribute to why parents make a great team with their kids in research projects both online and in-person include:

As research partners, parents help ensure that kids participate fully, because when parents feel that a study is fun their kids will, too. Here are a few of the ways I involve parents in both my in-person and online research methodologies:

When I involve mom and dad in research with kids and teens, it’s an almost guaranteed better participation rate for the following reasons:

A fun new dynamic in our research occurs between many parents and their children where the teacher becomes the student. This is often due to the digital divide, where parents are behind children in knowing current shopping tools and the media content that informs a great deal of purchasing behaviors and education. Kids and teens have become passionate advocates for i...