British children ‘unafraid to challenge adults’ for a better society, says latest Beano Brain report

A Beano Brain report on the acts of rebellion carried out daily by children has uncovered some hard hitting figures, including those stating that 48 per cent of young people today think they can be better trusted to stand against racism than their parents, teachers, or politicians, and that 59 per cent believe saving the planet should be top-priority in a post-Covid-19 world.

The results have emerged from a New Rebellion report conducted by the Beano’s specialist kids’ insight consultancy Beano Brain, into how kids and teens today feel about topics such as climate change, racial inequality, the family unit and the future of technology.

Its findings suggest that youngsters are becoming increasingly frustrated and disillusioned with the adults in charge, and are now taking matters in to their own hands by carrying out ‘small daily acts of rebellion and activism to instigate societal change.’

Their acts appear to be in contrast to the large-scale protests undertaken by previous younger generations, instead committing smaller, more frequent acts of rebellion to positively impact society, suggests the report.

 80 per cent of kids report carrying out small acts of rebellion, challenging the adults around them each week, resulting in a total of 4.9 million mini acts of rebellion weekly. 24 per cent of kids regularly remind adults to take care of the planet, with 27 per cent stepping in to tell someone to pick up their litter.

The report has also found that more than a quarter (26 per cent) of young people frequently directly challenge racist behaviour, with 44 per cent saying they’ve called out adults for inappropriate comments in the past.

The research was conducted with more than 35,000 kids and teens aged seven to 14 across the UK over the last ten months.

 The report also reveals that despite the spirit of rebellion present in today’s kids, they are more likely to get along with their families than previous generations. Three quarters (75 per cent) of Gen Alpha report they regularly listen to their parents’ advice and over half (55 per cent) have their parents as ‘friends’ on social platforms.  

 Gen Alpha put huge value on family time, which has become more important than ever during the pandemic. Six out of 10 kids (62 per cent) want to spend more time with their family, with well over two-thirds (70 per cent) wishing their parents would spend less time on their mobile devices.

Helenor Gilmour, director of insight, Beano Brain, said: “This exploration of rebellion in 2021 was born from our assertion last year that Gen Alpha were young activists. Now we can see that although 20 per cent have already attended a protest they are in fact, changing the world by stealth, carrying out millions of acts of rebellion each week.

Supported by their Millennial parents they are gradually changing society through small actions and living by example. This is hugely powerful. Gen Alpha’s “constructive” rebellion is even now catalysing societal change, an impact that could be greater than any generation before them.”

 The New Rebellion Report also examines the tech divide between Generation Alpha and their parents. Nearly half of kids (49 per cent) believe that technology can solve some of the world’s biggest problems, but 32 per cent think adults are scared of new tech.

When it comes to using tech on a day-to-day basis 44 per cent of kids and teens think that they’re more responsible than adults give them credit for, and 46 per cent find themselves helping an adult use technology at least once a week.

Beano Brain is a specialist insights consultancy from Beano Studios. Born from decades of experience with kids through the iconic Beano comic, it now helps companies build their own connections with families using its knowledge of Gen Alpha, Gen Z and their Millennial parents.

A summary of the research is available to read at