Top Parenting Trends for 2016
Parenting, just like anything else, goes through cycles. Some years certain styles of parenting or parenting activities are going to be more popular than ever. Here are some of the top parenting trends for 2016.
1. Hybrid names
Every older generation looks at the names their children are giving their grandchildren and get a little confused. This generation of parents perhaps more than any generation before they want unique names for their unique children. There has been a huge surge in hybrid names this year. For example, if you can’t decide between the names Gregory and Brian for a boy, you might decide to name the baby Briory. This is a great way to honor both sides of a family or two separate individuals with one name!
2. Breathing room
Helicopter parenting is officially dead. Ten years ago, every child was being raised by a parent who just couldn’t stop hovering over them. The previous generation, that was raised in a society that was a little bit safer and where parents were less likely to helicopter noticed how the children been loomed over by their parents simply were not growing up to be well-adjusted individuals. This year, parents are backing off and giving their kids a little more breathing room.
3. Backing off activities
Kids raised in the previous generation might have been forced to pile on as many after-school activities as possible, on top of also being expected to get good grades. A lot of this push was an endeavor to help a child get into the best school possible, believing colleges were going to want to see straight As along with three extracurricular activities. This just isn’t the case anymore, and many parents are starting to help their kids find a balance between schooling and activities that doesn’t leave the kid worn out and stressed out at the end of the day.
4. Invisalign and braces
Even ten years ago, it was not as common for parents to want to straighten their child’s teeth as it is today. This isn’t just about appearances—straighter teeth mean a healthier mouth and they can give the child a huge confidence boost. Because crooked teeth are often the target of ridicule from other kids, many parents are jumping at the opportunity to quickly and affordably straight their children’s teeth.
5. More nannies
Nannies are no longer just for the rich and famous. Instead, more average families are hiring nannies, and sometimes more than one nanny, to help make sure a child gets the attention that they need. There has been a huge increase in the number of nannies being hired on both a full-time and part-time basis. While this is seen by some as a way to delegate parental responsibilities, it is often the only way to ensure that the child is properly taken care of as more and more families require both the mother and father to work.
6. More enlightenment
One of the benefits of backing off as a helicopter parent is the ability to allow the child to make their own decisions and deal with the consequences of those decisions. More and more parents are letting their children have more control over their own lives at a younger age, from choosing what kind of clothing they want to wear to how they want to style their hair. These decisions might seem small, but making them and being supported by a parent can significantly boost a child’s confidence down the line.
7. Downsizing expectations
Parents have long wearied of the overwrought birthday parties and extravagant holiday retreats. While the economy has largely recovered from the recent recession, many families are looking for more practical and reasonable ways to celebrate milestones. Instead of throwing a huge, expensive birthday party that will impress other parents more than it will be enjoyable for the children attending that party, parents are looking for ways to make things fun and exciting for the children, without overdoing a theme. Parents are also backing away from that “perfect parent” stereotype that requires them to have a perfectly clean home, perfectly cooked meal, and perfectly dressed child (when we all know just how unreasonable those expectations are).
8. Better communication
Parents are more and more interested in what their kids have to say, which encourages kids to speak their minds, form their own opinions, and speak out when they see something bad like bullying. Movies like Inside Out have encouraged parents to sit down and try to get even their youngest kids involved in sharing their emotions. This could mean an end to temper tantrums and crying fits. More kids will be able to express their feelings in concrete terms, instead of just wailing in the middle of the grocery store for no reason.
9. Better skill development
Parents are interested in getting their kids interested in the most essential skills at a younger age. While grandparents and great grandparents might scoff at handing a three-year-old a tablet, today’s kids need to know how to use technology—it is going to be a part of every single aspect of their lives in the future. More parents are turning to technology to provide their kids with a fun way to learn just about everything, from shapes, colors, and letters, to programming and reading music. Technology is making it possible for just about every child to become a prodigy. Today’s parents will raise a smarter, more in-tune generation of tots.