More than a million millennials are having children each year. There’s also been a fertility boom due to additional funding and advances in technology. More people are able to become parents than ever before. Cultural shifts, advances in healthcare and technology, have all caused several new parenting trends to emerge. Tech-savvy and well-informed millennials are raising children with more confidence and shaping the future of parenting. Here are some of the latest trends in parenting this year.
This parenting style is a combination of authoritarian and indulgent parents. Both firm discipline and warm nurturance are equally important. Authoritative parents still set their children goals and limitations, but offer emotional support along the way. This might relate to the use of screen time and social media vs. studying, for instance. Often parents worry about their children spending too long online.
Millennial parents have been reported to be increasingly concerned about their child’s safety. In fact, studies have shown that they are also more overprotective. This could be due to a number of factors such as cyberbullying, and an increase in awareness of mental health issues in children.
The internet is a huge resource for new parents. For instance, if you’re looking for advice on how to get your baby to sleep there are infinite options. Many millennial parents can rely on baby sleep safety expert tips online. There are plenty of guidelines and online platforms to speak to network with other parents and professionals.
If you’re having trouble juggling working from home and watching your kids, virtual babysitters are becoming the norm. “Zoom babysitters” have been reviewed by both the NY Times and the Washington Post as a solution to helping out parents who are working from home. It’s also becoming a trend to speak to friends and family online, and they can keep the children engaged temporarily.
Millennials are able to find the support they need through technical resources. These can include parenting blogs, medical institutions, online stores, and deliveries. They are plenty of offers online to make new parent’s lives easier including baby meal kits, educational apps, and government-approved medical advice.
For those lucky enough to have their boomer parents nearby, many millennials are relying on them for regular support. This can be both financial and emotional. Often boomer grandparents provide a more economical childcare option as well.
Technology has also brought families closer together through cheaper air travel and faster wifi, so boomer grandparents are actually much more available than the grandparents of previous generations. Because of longevity, families are now able to spend more years together, are boomer grandparents are redefining their own grandparenting style.
Parenting roles are less black and white and many millennial couples with children share responsibilities, much more so than in the past few decades. The US also has the highest rate globally of children living in single-parent households, including 3.23 million living with a single dad.
Millennial dads are parenting their kids differently to previous generations. It’s now commonplace for fathers to take longer paternity leave, and not to miss out on key moments in their baby’s early development. There’s also an increase in fathers leaving work altogether to become the primary care-giver.
It’s all about balance in a typical millennial home. Both parents work and share household chores. Childcare responsibilities are divided, and financing comes from both incomes. The percentage of stay at home dads is still low comparatively, but parental roles are evolving.
The global pandemic has driven many parents to investigate alternative home-schooling resources. Children’s audiobooks have doubled in popularity for example. Kids and parents love audiobooks for various reasons. Kids are still able to multi-task while listening to their favorite books. They allow for quiet engagement without the kids getting too bored or distracted.
Many parents are discovering a world of educational resources online. The events of this year have kickstarted parents into becoming more aware of their child’s curriculum and learning methods. Home-schooling may well continue as a trend, even after schools reopen.
There’s a growing trend in homemade baby food. There are a lot of brands on the market at the moment that offer fresh, organic baby food. The easiest and cheapest option however is to make baby food in a thermomix. There are plenty of baby food and weaning recipes online that new babies will love and only take seconds to make. The days of processed food in jars are over.
There are however several new delivery services that offer baby meal kits. The meal-kit industry has really taken off and there’s an option for all dietary requirements, even babies. For busy parents, it’s definitely a time saver, and there’s no need to go to the supermarket.
Millennial parents are developing their knowledge through online resources and networking, making them much more confident parents. They can ask questions anonymously or with people they know. By valuing the advice of their peers, millennials use social media to become more competent parents.
It’s not only friends and followers. Qualified childcare professionals also offer online help and advice through social media. These can include teachers, pediatricians, and children’s dentists. This means there’s no need to wait for an appointment or the next parent-teacher conference. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s wellbeing, you can find reputable options on social media. This also means millennial parents are constantly expanding their knowledge.
There’s been an increase in popularity of gender-neutral names, toys, and clothes. Trending baby names in 2020 include Charlie and Skyler, which can be options for any gender. Fashion brands are bringing out new ranges of unisex clothes. Top brands include Mochi Kids which produces hand-decorated unisex t-shirts, casual wear, and pajamas.
There are also plenty more options for gender-neutral toys, games, and party themes. Parents are seeking out more inclusive options that don’t imply gender roles or stereotypes. Instead, there’s been more of a focus on educational and outdoor toys and activities.
Sustainability is one of the biggest trends of the year for toys. Some of the larger toy manufacturers are phasing out plastic bit by bit. The toy market is gradually starting to go green due to a number of issues that need to be addressed. Phasing out plastic could reduce chemical issues, waste disposal issues, and social supply chain issues.
Making toys for this generation of children is different as many of them holder stronger principals and values. 63% say they would like to work somewhere saving the planet, and over half would like a job where technology makes a difference.
Smart Parenting Apps
Millennial parents are tech-savvy and rely on apps and advanced technology to make their lives easier. There are plenty of great parenting apps and gadgets on the market in 2020. Here are some examples.
Cloud Baby Monitor is equipped with helpful features such as noise and motion alerts, parents are given the relief and convenience of checking on their newborn remotely. The monitor has video and music options, so you can even sing to your baby from your room. The motion sensors will alert you if they move and you’ll be able to see your baby through the camera.
Peanut is a free app that helps parents get in touch with each other to share experiences and make friends. You’ll be automatically matched with someone in your local area, who is going through similar things as you. It’s a great way to maintain a social life while you’re in quarantine with the children at home.
Jenzy is a kids’ shoe sizing app. It can be difficult to judge the shoe size of your children, even with measurements. The app can guarantee a perfect fit and an easier way to shop for kids’ shoes. All you need to do is send a picture of your kid’s foot and the app will go through brands and sizes. The great thing is it’s all done online so you can order the shoes to your door.
In 2020 a heavy focus is being put on more self-care. This is relevant to parenting as well. It’s important to discover healthy ways to relax, express yourself, and take the time for you. Children are being given less screen time and encouraged to go for walks, engage in forest bathing, and creative activities.
Parents and society are also more aware of anxiety and mental health concerns in children. A lot more is being focussed on wellness in schools and children are getting individual support. Children and parents are encouraged to be more open about emotional or physical difficulties.
The world children live in is constantly evolving. New parenting ideas and trends are always emerging. As parents, it’s important to stay up to date, and in touch with what’s going on. Trends this year are about finding a balance with technology, nature, and self-care. It’s up to you whether to embrace them or not.