Care.com, which provides a network of nannies and babysitters, has released it’s predictions for what our working parent trends are going to be like in the new year. Some of them make you want to say “You wish!” “Or that’s a lovely thought.”
Take a look at their Top 4.
1.Grit-Style Parenting – Say goodbye to participation trophies, and hello to teaching kids some grit. Recent studies have shown that the characteristic of grit is the key to happiness and success, and in a world that increasingly values entrepreneurship and the failure that may come along with it, parents are letting their children figure things out on their own and even fail. By teaching children not to quit at the first sign of a setback, parents are showing children how to be resilient, autonomous and that persistence pays off whether there’s a trophy or not.
Are you doing this? Or are you still fighting your child’s battles? It’s a tough one, I know, but one we’ve written about often. Read these two stories about parenting without the “everybody gets a trophy mentality.”
2.The Minimalist Parent – The minimalist movement that was sparked by Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” has trickled down to parenting. In lieu of all the “stuff” that children quickly grow out of and tired of, parents are electing for a more pared-down lifestyle for the entire family. These minimalist parents of 2017 are eschewing the multitude of toys, clothes and art projects that come with the parenting territory and only saving items that spark joy, while selling or donating the rest to local charities or parent groups like the ones found on BigTent.com. When it comes to activities, reexamining their children’s schedule and eliminating any sports or lessons they don’t truly enjoy is also on the minimalist parent’s agenda.
This isn’t truly new. We wrote about slow parenting a few years ago and what local and national authors had to say about it. In a world where some kids have so much, this is a refreshing perspective.
3.Post-Gender Parenting – From an increase in unisex names in the last decade and the movement to ban the word “bossy” for girls to the elimination of gender toy segregation by mass market retailers and the call for gender-neutral graduation gowns, gender neutrality is being welcomed by a new generation of parents. These post-gender parents are challenging gender stereotypes in an effort to raise their children in an environment where they aren’t confined to the pressure of gender bias and where kids can simply be kids…whether that means learning how to code, to play rugby or to take ballet. This cultural shift means that children have more choices than ever before, and what parent doesn’t want that for their child?
We get excited by this concept. From the Austin-based clothing line Girls Will Be … to the trend in gender-neutral or less-girly names for girl babies to ultimate girl power. We’ve also written about raising a transgender child. It’s all very exciting how far the needle has moved, but yet, there are some innate qualities that seem to be a boy-thing or a girl-thing.
4.Truly Flexible Workplace Programs – There’s no question about it. 2016 was the year about paid parental leave. While companies will continue to engage in a parental leave arms race, Care@Work, the enterprise arm helping companies support their working families, predicts leading employers will also take on expanding the notion of flex time for 2017. According to a Care@Work Better Benefits Survey, 17% of people would likely leave their job for one that offered a flexible work schedule. But beyond offering flexibility in working hours, companies are recognizing that true flexibility for America’s diverse workforce means many different things. Whether it’s a reduced work week à la Amazon.com’s 30-hour work week pilot program, job-sharing opportunities, or the ability to work from home several days a week to avoid long commutes or for no reason at all, the traditional, full-time schedule in an office is no longer a “one size fits all” model for today’s workforce. Most importantly, leading organizations who are committed to true flexibility are actively encouraging the use of these workplace programs to help mitigate commonly-held fears of being professionally penalized for actually taking them.
We know this has become a major priority in our lives and we’re hearing it’s a priority in others’ lives.
Are these trends what you are seeing, too? What other parenting trends do you know about.