Parenting Trends for 2020
It is no secret to anybody that society has been in constant evolution ever since civilization exists. In the last 100 years we have known at least 5 different generations and with each of them a different approach towards life. Whether due to historical circumstances, economic conditions or technological advances, each of these generations embodies a very different set of values from the previous one. This is why raising children is a continuously evolving task, where strategies need to be adapted and sometimes, a little bit inspired by empirical knowledge, we need to make up for what we do not fully understand through improvisation.
And not surprisingly, in this age of massive Internet expansion, parents are more than ever bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information. And who has time to filter, choose and verify every single piece of information that lands in their hands while juggling a professional and family life at the same time?
Many of us have found ourselves weighing conflicting opinions coming from experts, professionals and even parenting gurus, who claim having found the holy grail of parenthood. And the truth is that there is no single thing that works for everyone. Every household faces different contexts, situations, and challenges and must learn how to manage them on a daily basis. What may be working for your cousin’s or your neighbor’s children will not necessarily be working for yours.
Taking this into account, here is a list of the most popular parenting trends for 2020. Be aware that some may be new and interesting, but there may be others that are obvious or even a bit funny for you. Keep an open mind, remember that even two children being raised by the same parents can experience a completely different parenting style from the other, which is why you should give yourself the opportunity to reflect on them, explore them a little further and see if they might be useful to you and your family.
Less screen time, more audio books
Audiobooks seem to be gaining in popularity with each passing year, which has resulted in a great deal of diversity in terms of content, some of which are specifically designed for children. This new offer gives your children the possibility not only to learn something new, but also to develop their listening skills and stimulate their concentration.
This is one of those alternatives where you can continue to rely on technology and at the same time reduce the amount of time your children spend in front of the screen. It’s a fun way to keep them distracted and it is easily accessible from any device.
Manual activities have always been one of those things that kids love to do in their free time. And now, with the lockdown situation in place, children are spending an enormous amount of time at home, providing the opportunity to explore a range of online tutorials and courses available on the internet. This will allow them to experiment, invent and let out that artist or scientist that exists within them.
Let them get their hands dirty, break a thing or two and create with little “do-it-yourself” projects. This also includes a little bonus: this activity will keep their attention away from the screens.
Nowadays, getting into the eco-friendly spirit is easier than ever. You just have to do some research and you’ll find that there is a wide range of eco-friendly products available on the market, from baby products to haute couture brands. In fact, it’s more than just a trend, the aim is to integrate this concept into your life, given that the best teacher will always be setting the example. Is a game where everybody wins.
Depending on your children’s particular interests, you can also help them take their first steps on the road to environmental activism, be it in your community or at school. You know what they say, developing an environmental consciousness is the first step in raising awareness.
Health comes first
The myriad of health applications available for all types of devices that allow us to track our physical activity, what we consume and even the sustainability of the brands we buy, can now be used to make a positive impact on our children’ s well-being as well.
Modern parents are relying more than other generations on the selective use of organic products, balanced diets, exercise, and in general, new life hygiene rituals from an early age in order to improve and preserve on the long term the health and brain development of their children.
Regardless of whether they’re online or physical, thrift stores are a great option for tweens and teens. It’s something that, besides being trendy these days, will help you save a little money.
There are all kinds of thrift stores, and you’ll be impressed by how often your child will come out of the store equipped with fashionable brands at just a third of the price. Plus, it’s perfect for children at those ages, since they’ll pretty much outgrow anything you buy for them in the blink of an eye.
Loving ways to show your kid you’re the boss
With new parenting styles, which tend to be less hierarchical than they once were, it is sometimes tricky to keep control of every situation. This is perfectly normal, and we have all been through the same thing. Keep in mind that it is not the situation itself what is important, but how we, as parents, handle the situation.
No one wants to live in a dictatorship, and it is only understandable that we want to foster our children’s autonomy and individuality, but this should not become a problem involving lack of discipline and disrespect. Nowadays there are several parenting resources (specialized literature, parenting courses, family counselors, etc.) that can allow you to better approach these situations by giving you the right support and the right tools. A modern parent is a parent who learns hand in hand with his children.
Smart parenting involving smart tools.
It is hard to imagine a household these days that does not have a variety of technological devices. From cell phones to virtual assistants, there is always a way to take advantage of them for the purpose of improving your quality of life not only as an individual, but as a parent.
For example, a virtual assistant (like Siri, Google or Alexa), can be used as a tool to answer your children’s questions. Instead of getting a “why” a thousand times throughout the day, promote the child’s curiosity by guiding them towards the resources and teaching them the proper way to use the tools at their disposal. And while this won’t replace your role, it might result in a drop of about 800 “why’s” a day. However, the task doesn’t stop there, you can take it a step further and discuss with your child about his findings, his thoughts on them, and whether he still has any doubts. Here’s a valuable opportunity to help him develop his critical thinking skills.
Likewise, there are other much more specific tools such as cribs featuring built-in motion and adjustable sounds designed to soothe your baby (some brands even advertise as much as two extra hours of sleep for the parents), nanny cams, parental control software, and many more.
Learn from your own mistakes.
Authoritarian parenting is no longer a very popular approach, nor is permissive parenting. If anything has been learned from the experience of the older generations, it is that parenting should be much more balanced than it used to be.
Although it is true that the constant changes and new challenges that the modern world imposes on parents repeatedly expose them to the unknown, one must also learn to be fair to oneself. We all try to give our best to our children, but sometimes things don’t work out the way we expected.
We must understand that we are in this together, both grown-ups and children, it is a shared experience in which we are growing as a team. Surely there will be a few mistakes, but remember that the present is always the best time to take corrective measures if necessary, to sit down and discuss as a family, to look for new and better ways to deal with situations and to work on keeping our heads in the right place. At the end of the day we will be glad to be able to go to sleep knowing that we did what we could in the best possible way. Because, after all, the one trend that will never go out of fashion is doing what’s best for your family.