What does 2020 have in store for parents and their sprogs?
Environmental concerns, micro-scheduling, and period parties, apparently.
A study of 2,000 parents by ChannelMum.com has gathered the ten parenting trends set to be big in the year ahead, including natural pregnancies and the decision to not have children for the sake of saving the world.
The trends are, as you’d expect, very 2020, and are indicative of the many concerns parents have in our modern world – we’re just surprised there’s nothing on the list specifically about the horrors of social media or giving kids a digital detox.
Among worries facing parents are the environment and mental health, likely because both are topics we’ve been discussing more in recent years.
93% of parents surveyed said they plan to become more environmentally friendly over the next few years.
10 parenting trends predicted to be big in 2020:
The Greta Effect
Instead of seeing adults as the ones who know it all, 2020 will be about listening to children and recognising that they can be activists in their own right.
Greta Thunberg has shown that children have very real worries and missions, and that there’s no shame in allowing kids to teach and lead adults rather than the other way around.
Rather than all sitting around the TV to watch a show on Saturday nights, families will start spending time together by enjoying a multi-player group gaming sitdown.
Just 1% of those surveyed were ready to embrace entirely natural pregnancy, meaning no scans, no painkillers, and minimal medical appointments, but ChannelMum reckons this will become more common in the coming decade.
Period parties have been a thing in other cultures for ages (in Sri Lanka, for example, there’s poopunitha neerathu vizha, which involves a public party alongside a private religious ceremony to mark someone’s first period, or menarche), but they’re starting to be normalised in the UK and US.
Parents reckon these are a great way to put periods in a positive light.
As everyone and their mum is going freelance or adopting remote working, it makes sense that businesses are starting to offer dedicated co-working spaces that double as childcare and a space for parents to network.
A recommendation to anyone with young family members in need of birthday presents: double check the parents are okay with the latest plastic gimmick.
Lots of parents plan to ditch plastic entirely in the New Year in an effort to be more eco-friendly.
Alongside wooden toys and hand-me-down clothing, more parents will look into reusable nappies and biodegradable wipes.
Everyday Take 20
This is a nice idea for anyone – not just parents – to try.
Everyday Take 20 is based on the idea of parents setting aside 20 minutes every day to sit with their children and listen to whatever they have to say, free of any distraction.
Imagine how your bond would change if you did this with a partner, a friend, or someone you work with, as well as your kids?
Birth trauma rewind
This is a type of therapy to help mums overcome difficult births.
It’s a bit like hypnotherapy, involving getting a mother into a fully relaxed state, bringing up the traumatic experience, then guiding them through a peaceful memory or association.
The mother is then asked to imagine that they have a video player with a remote control and that they’re playing a video of their traumatic birth. The mum can then imagine themselves going backwards through the trauma, as if the video is being rewound. This process is repeated until the memory no longer holds huge emotional power over the patient.
Tight planning of your day down to the minute.
This is the ultimate upgrade to your to-do list, involving scheduling every moment of your day so each minute is accounted for.
Rather than just saying the morning is dedicated to cleaning the kitchen, for example, you might write down that at 8.05am you’ll wipe down the surfaces, at 8.10am you’ll put the crockery away as the kids pack their school bags, and so on.
The ‘anti-natalist’ movement
A rather scary-sounding way to describe the choice to not have children for the sake of saving the planet.
ChannelMum.com founder Siobhan Freegard said: ‘We’ve had girl power and now it’s time for child power.
‘Consumer trends in the 2020s will increasingly be driven by the concerns and needs of the youngest members of society.
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‘Kids are hyper aware of their impact on the world and the positive changes they want to see and are actively making them happen, rather than waiting for the adults to do it for them.’
The study also found 47% of parents are planning to try gaming together in 2020, instead of sitting down to watch TV or a film.
And 58% intend to do ‘Everyday Take 20’, a trend that sees parents take 20 minutes each day to just sit with their kids and listen.
ChannelMum reckon Harry and Meghan will continue to spark conversation around raising kids, especially after their comments about stopping at two children for the sake of the planet. 29% of those surveyed said this will become more of a discussion in 2020.