The year is 2018. Robots exist, meme’s are the new trend, Instagram is where the cool kids go to play, and Judge Judy reruns are still on every weekend. There has been great strides in development in the last decade as the human race continues to progress so does each society and each demographic. As millennials most of which are in their 20’s start to start families they, as with everything else, have also redefined what it is to be a parent. Being a Modern Parent in this day and age involves a lot of things some are serious and deep like a modern parent understanding that it is on to let your kid be creative and express themselves to otherwise travail things like starting an Instagram account for your baby. So as each new parent strives to be a modern parent and change or redefine the parenting game.
Stay at Home Dads: Gender stereotypes are being broken and dads are taking more and more responsibilities for diaper changes and midnight feeding times and running errands while mums pursue their career and provide for the home. So long as both parties are happy, no one has to give up their dream so the other can leave theirs in a home or marriage and millennials know this more than anyone. It also gives s a more balanced home to the kids when both parents are actively involved in raising them.
Paid Paternity Leave: Now that men are increasingly taking an equal role in parenting, and research shows that the first six weeks are a crucial time for bonding with baby, progressive companies are undergoing a major shift. In the past few years, the thought-leaders at Apple, Google and Facebook have begun to offer paid paternity leave (up to 17 weeks at Facebook) and some states such as California, Rhode Island, and New Jersey have formalized the benefit, providing up to six weeks Paid Paternity Leave for new dads. Hopefully, more companies will follow suit in 2018.
Baby Instagram and Email accounts: As mentioned earlier it’s a new trend that most modern parents are jumping on. Sure, it’s a cool way to document the major baby milestones, but that’s not the only reason parents are starting email accounts for their kids before they’re even born. According to The New York Times, scouring email and social media handle availability is actually starting to influence baby name selection since parents want their kids to have their online presence activated immediately after birth. They also want to guarantee that the name they choose comes with a handle not already taken, hence the creative spellings of otherwise common names. A bit much if you ask me.
Increased Kid Tracking: Helicopter parenting first came into parlance in the ’90s, and nowadays it’s taking a digital turn. In 2018, expect to see more devices and apps designed to casually keep tabs on your kids. The Jiobit, for example, is a teeny-tiny gizmo that clips discreetly onto your children’s clothes and provides accurate location tracking so you can follow them on their day. Another slightly more aggressive option: Reply ASAP, an app that freezes a child’s phone usage until they reply to your worried texts. The bottom line: Tech-based parenting has reached its logical paranoid conclusions. On the bright side, it helps to always know where your kid is at all times. There are also tracking mechanisms you can put in their shoes.
Forest-themed Nurseries: This feels like more of a fad than a trend.
Pinterest called it: Fairies, forests, antlers and other woodland motifs will be popping up in nurseries and kid rooms in the coming year. Its annual Hot 100 list, which compiles pins with the strongest upward trend, says this nature-inspired décor theme is starting to go big. We love that it’s not too babyish to grow with your child, and it’s gender neutral to boot. Might not last though
Instant Pots and Crockpots: This trend is more for the parents than the baby.
Are you still cooking chicken breasts for the full 40 minutes like a chump? You obviously haven’t caught Instant Pot fever. The Canadian-designed Instant may very well be the kitchen gadget to render all others obsolete. Not only is it a multitasking wonder—slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan and food warmer all in one—but it promises to speed up cooking by two to six times, which makes getting dinner on the table that much more doable. Instant Pot’s breathlessly enthusiastic fans unite on social media: Instagram has racked up 42,114 #instantpot posts and on Facebook, a worldwide Instant Pot Community some 289,539 members strong is constantly chatting—trading recipes, troubleshooting and gushing over pics of their miraculous meals. Why take time when you can do it instantly right?!
Old-fashioned play will make a comeback: This one leaves me a little skeptical but we’ll see. The rise of screen time is necessitating a return to ‘70s-era basics to counteract all that passive consumption. In fact, experts say the play is a child’s most important job, teaching them everything from social confidence to self-regulation to problem-solving, and it’s increasingly being threatened by, yes, screens but also overscheduling and an overemphasis on academics in school. Pinterest has noted an uptick on content about how play and open-ended toys help babies and toddler develop critical skills, and play-based content like our card games how-to and list of fun indoor activities was some of our most popular in 2016.
In conclusion, these trends all signify a desire for improvement and that’s a good thing for this generation of parents. There is more self-awareness and increased appreciation of the differences in kids and people and their needs. If you choose to jump on any of these trends, remember to tailor them to fit you and your kids and family and don’t go over budget or splurge on a device just because a blog article told you to do so.