In our recent study, The World According to Kids, we surveyed kids across 18 countries and learned that they describe the world in many ways: as big, fun, beautiful, exciting, interesting, happy, and good.

Here’s what we learned about today’s kids aged 6 to 11 from this research:

Kids are more connected to the world. They have access to more connected devices and a desire to connect with others, including brands and influencers.

Kids have a strong bond with family and friends. Even though today their connections reach far and wide, they value their closer relationships, leaning on each other when they need it.

Kids have a positive outlook. The strength of their relationships with family and friends makes them resilient – as well as happy and excited about the future.

Kids are realistic. They see the beauty in the world – and the problems. They want success but know they’ll need to work (and study) hard to achieve it.

Kids are more activist. They believe that it’s within their power to bring change. Using their strong sense of right and wrong, they are getting informed and involved in issues that matter to them.

Kids still want fun. Ultimately, fun remains at the heart of childhood – it brings kids closer to family and friends, guides their online behavior, and is key to the content they consume.

With these findings in mind, here are our suggestions on how to engage effectively with kids right now:

Help them have fun. Fun is so central to kids’ lives that it’s important to help them to find fun in everything.  This doesn’t just apply to entertainment and socializing – we know that kids are curious and want to learn in an enjoyable way, whether that’s at school or through content.

Provide positive inspiration. It’s important to reflect kids’ optimistic view of the world back to them. This doesn’t mean painting an artificially rosy picture – kids know about the world’s many problems, but that’s not their focus. They are looking for inspiration, whether it comes from family and friends in their immediate circles or the influencers that so many of them follow.  Kids can also be inspired and excited by brands that they perceive as doing good in the world.

Encourage expression. The kids we spoke to were articulate in expressing their feelings about everything from close relationships to the wider world. They have a fierce sense of justice and want to act on it. This sentiment should be encouraged to enable kids to continue to act positively and purposefully.

Reflect their values. Pick up on their sense of justice, fairness, and kindness, as well as their enthusiasm about the many opportunities available to them as they look to the future.