To say parenting has changed over the years would be the understatement of the century. Every year there are new trends, new information, and new studies guiding changes to what is seen as "ideal" parenting.
With each new finding comes a new rule or obstacle in making the right choices for a child. In earlier days, it was normal to wrap an infant up to keep them cozy while they sleep and let them sleep on their stomach. According to Moms.com, though, most parents in the modern era have opted for taking the blanket out of cribs and laying their child safely on their back.
If keeping up with parenting trends wasn’t enough, it seems there are new trends children are facing that seep into the decisions parents have to face. From new games coming onto the market to a forever growing number of social media apps on a child’s phone, it seems mom and dad can never quite catch a break when it comes to trying to keep up with it all.
We’ve gone through everything a modern day mom needs to know when it comes to parenting that might not have been around for moms back in the early 2000s.
It felt like overnight that Fortnite took over the gaming scene. Its giant growth spurt was a result of a strategic decision to make the game available on all types of gaming systems or devices. Most games are dedicated to a specific brand of gaming system, so the ability to play Fortnite on any device changed the game.
On top of it all, it allows you to connect with friends anywhere in the world playing it. You can even turn on your microphone access and chat away through the entire game. Because of this, the game has developed an addicting nature and it seems children of all ages everywhere are hooked. If Fortnite has taken over your family time, you wouldn’t be the first parent to ban Fortnite talk during meals or family activities.
20 Binge-Watching Netflix
The development of Netflix came as a solution to a common household argument: who gets to choose what show goes on the TV. Netflix is an online streaming platform that can create custom profiles for each family member and allow streaming of shows on multiple devices at the same time. This means siblings quit arguing about who gets to pick the channel or hold the remote, and there’s a little peace back in the house.
On the flip side, Netflix has dialed into a new phenomenon of binge-watching TV shows that previously didn’t exist. Children no longer have to wait a week for the next episode of their favorite show to air at a specific time and date, they can bundle up and watch an entire series in one shot.
Limiting Netflix time or scheduling it as a post-homework treat are two ways you can help reduce screen time and avoid an early addiction to binge-watching their free time away.
19 Viral Trends
The Internet has the power to connect people on a new level, and it’s brought some beautiful stories into lives. Alternatively, it has the power to spread dangerous trends like wildfire.
In recent years, viral social media trends have been responsible for hospital trips to the ER, criminal charges for young teens, and trips to the courthouse. Some challenges start off playful, but quickly escalate in an attempt to “one-up” each other. Challenges like planking, the Tide Pod challenge, and driving blindfolded are just a few examples of viral trends that should have never begun.
18 Early Online Reputation
If you had to name one time you embarrassed yourself in high school, you could probably do it within ten seconds of being asked. Doing something embarrassing is practically a right of passage growing up, but luckily there wasn’t someone recording it live when you did it.
With most children now having Smartphones, there’s video evidence of nearly everything that happens at school events, parties, sleepovers, and any event where your kid may accidentally do something wrong. While it may just seem more embarrassing to know it was captured on film, these early videos can deeply damage a child’s reputation when they take their first steps into their job. Before a child has fully developed, there can be video evidence floating around the internet of the regrettable decisions they’ve made.
If you ask any child what they want for their birthday this year, you’ll be surprised to hear them yell “slime!”.
Despite its growing popularity in the past two years, most people actually credit Mattel toy company for creating the original slime back in February of 1976. The product was sold in tiny plastic trash cans, and apparently, Mattel was just ahead of the curb.
Today slime takes many forms and has actually exploded as its own category on YouTube. Your child may want to play with slime, but they also want to watch someone else make it, play with it, and find new ways to use it.
16 Meme Language
Nothing makes a modern-day parent feel less connected to their kids than meme culture. This can be one of the hardest concepts for parents to grasp because the memes themselves are often insider references that won’t make sense to someone lacking concept, and the concept of a meme itself is confusing enough.
According to Britannica, memes are a unit of cultural information spread by imitation. British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins says, “Memes carry information, are replicated, and are transmitted from one person to another, and they have the ability to evolve, mutating at random and undergoing natural selection.”
These memes typically aren’t dangerous to your child, but not understanding the joke can be an awkward point of disconnect daily.
15 Fidget Toys
Love them or dislike them, fidget toys are here to stay. According to Scientific A., these toys can be a great option for conditions like ADHD, autism, or anxiety. By keeping an object in hand to fidget while working, people can actually stay more focused on a given task.
According to USB Makers, the first fidget spinner was created as an alternative to stop children from throwing rocks at police officers in Israel. Now, they can be found in almost every home in North America. Fidget toys are most known as the classic fidget spinner, but new options like the fidget cube raised more than $6.4M USD on crowdsourcing campaign website Kickstarter.
14 Juuling or Vaping
Education around vices simply didn’t exist back in the early years, but today there is enough evidence of its negative impact that most adults are looking to quit. In order to help them reach this goal, companies have developed tools that ease them out of their habit in the hopes it will make quitting easier.
Unfortunately, these tools have strong marketing teams and have inadvertently started to attract teens looking to try something new. Juuling has become a popular term based off a product with a 33 percent market share in 2017, according to Global News. These sleek units have grown in young circles, and although the term sounds harmless, listen for it being used in circles around your teen.
13 Social Media Influencers
If you think back to your first famous crush, it was most likely a Hollywood celebrity. If you asked a young teen today, you may hear some names you’ve never even heard of.
The rise of social media influencers has changed how children interact with their favorite celebrities, and it’s even changed the definition of celebrities. These influencers feel more accessible than traditional celebrities, and they give the impression of a more authentic approach to what they share.
As children are introduced to the highlights of these influencers’ put-together lives, it makes them want to grow up even faster than they normally would. It can also cause major self-esteem issues and provoke them to want to change who they are to align more with these globally-loved influencers.
12 Direct Access To Video Chats
When video messaging apps first launched, it was one of the only ways to connect with long-distance family and friends via video. It was often choppy, but it was appreciated for its ability to get a more personal approach to catching up.
From iPhones offering FaceTime to private social media videos that disappear after being watched, the video capabilities available to your child are unlike anything you’ve experienced. Most recently, IG rolled out a feature that allows video chats of up to six individuals and provides the ability to keep scrolling feeds as you chat. It’s important to know who your child is video chatting with and monitoring the time they spend staring at their screen instead of having real-life conversations.
11 Predators Integrating Into Online Communities
Having increased abilities to chat in a variety of online communities, children have found new ways to connect with their cousins living in different cities or friends who move away. Children are scheduling their own online play dates, which also means less driving around the city for mom and dad.
Although these online communities have positive opportunities, they are also a risky and dangerous place when unsupervised. According to Global News, authorities in New Jersey recently arrested 24 men using social media sites or online games like Fortnite to lure minors.
Make sure you are in the loop when it comes to the video games your child plays and who’s on the other end playing with them.
10 Lawnmower Parenting
According to Pure Wow, this term was actually created by a teacher dealing with this parenting style head on with her students’ parents. Lawnmower parents aim to cut down any problems that cross their child’s path.
“Instead of preparing children for challenges,” the teacher describes to Pure Wow, “they mow obstacles down so kids won’t experience them in the first place.” According to Everyday Family, the term came after a parent “made a special trip from work to drop off a fancy water bottle to his 17-year-old, despite the fact that the campus was teeming with water fountains.”
There is a high chance your child is friends with a child of a lawnmower parent. This means managing expectations and instilling independence in your child is more important, but also more challenging than ever.
9 Nutritional Education & Higher Expectations
When it comes down to it, we simply have more nutritional education than we used to. Foods that used to be acceptable for their quick and easy convenience are now shunned by schools and parents are discouraged to provide them to their children.
With the new Canadian Food Guide released for 2019, the mindset around nutrition has shifted. Dairy may have been considered a healthy food group in the past, but the new recommendations have drastically reduced dairy recommendations and more families are choosing to go dairy free entirely.
Other trends include an early vegan lifestyle or a more plant-based protein approach. These nutritional changes are happening quickly and often, and keeping up is harder than ever before.
8 Ease & Frequency Of Online Shopping
Gone are the days where advertisers rely solely on billboards and TV ads. The new generation of shoppers is seeing ads integrated into their everyday life more seamlessly than ever.
With social media ads appearing in every scroll on the apps, teens today are falling into early habits of online shopping, spending more frequently and more money. These high priced items attract kids with their clean aesthetics, and all it takes is a quick swipe up to start the shopping. With the option to have all your credit card information saved on popular websites or even on their phones, the shopping habit starts early and doesn’t fall easily.
7 Green Parenting
According to Today’s Parent, green parenting is one of Pinterest’s top trend predictions for 2019. The visual content sharing platform saw a 750 percent spike in people “pinning” content related to eco-friendly clothing.
Green parenting ranges from these eco-friendly clothing purchases to cloth diapers, recycling products, and switching to containers over plastic throwaway options. According to the Washington Post, parents have shifted from plastic toys that easily break and have a negative impact on the planet back to old wood toys. In fact, searches for wood toys are up 173 percent on Pinterest. While this trend means good things for the environment, it’s a new added pressure for parents to consider when making buying decisions and adjusting their annual budget.
6 iPhones And Smartphones
Back in the 2000s, it was rare for an early teen to have a cell phone. If they did, it was a low-quality flip phone intended to be used for emergencies or to stay in contact with mom and dad.
As the years went on, the age of children with cell phones continued to get earlier and earlier. Children are now having their own phones as young as the age of five, and not just any phone, iPhones.
A major pressure growing up is feeling like you’re part of a club. Unfortunately, iPhones are now a major indicator of those who are “in” or not. This creates added pressure on parents to dish out hard-earned cash to help their children fit in on the playground.
5 Blue Light And Screen Time
More Smartphones and communication apps mean more screen time for your teens. Original concerns around this were centered around children spending less time outside and doing physical activities instead of playing video games and texting.
Today, the major concern is blue light. Blue light is a range of visible light spectrum and is the light that we see when looking at a phone. Our eyes can work fairly well to protect us from light, but blue light has the ability to pass through the cornea and lens to reach the retina. According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, blue light can contribute to cataract, AMD, eyestrain, and sleep issues. Turning off the phones a few hours before bed is the best way to ensure your child is not losing sleep over this little unknown contributor.
4 Next Level Connectedness
The 2000s was an era of planning to meet on MSN at 6pm when you got home and hoping the other person remembered to meet you online when the time came. There was no way to let your friend know if plans at home had changed, and there was no chance they were picking up the phone to call them to let them know.
With social media still rising and the number of children with cell phones continuing to increase, your children are always connected to their friends and peers. From the minute they leave class to the last minutes before falling asleep, your child can be introduced to constant communication with peers. This can lead to higher anxiety in teens, more catty battles that would have otherwise been avoided, and the inability to turn off from their classmates.
3 Smart Technology In The Home
First came Smartphones, then smart TVs, and now smart just about anything. According to Statista, the smart home market is forecasted to be a $53.5B USD market worldwide by 2022.
With smart home devices, families have a personal assistant to answer all their questions, turn off or dim the lights for them, double check the door is locked from their bed, and start the coffee for when they head to the kitchen in the morning.
These technologies are a new issue for moms to address, and the novelty of them makes it unclear to most parents what to worry about. Your child may become inherently lazier and expect things to be done with them because they’re used to the way Alexa or Siri does it for them at home.
2 New Beauty Standards
In the 2000s, tweens would have awkward hairstyles, a confused sense of style filled with hand-me-downs and arbitrary purchases, and a bare face that’s never been introduced to makeup. The middle school and early high school phase was a key source of embarrassing photos to look back on at your wedding.
Today, it’s not uncommon for tweens to dye their hair, add hair extensions, wear false eyelashes, pay for fake nails, and teach themselves everyday makeup with the help of popular YouTube channels. The new beauty standards for a young girl or even boy have changed, and navigating it will mean needing support from mom and dad.
1 IG-Worthy Moments
The pressure to parent in a photogenic way is more than ever before. Social media allows us to share so many amazing moments online with friends and family, but the visual focus of these apps have created a newfound pressure to make every moment picture perfect.
Not only are moms feeling the pressure to look like a Hallmark card at all times, but the rush of social media sharing has also brought on new trends that never before existed. From full-on birth announcements with professional photographers to giant gender reveal parties and even godparent proposals, there’s a party for just about everything these days. Not only do moms today have the pressure to join in on all of these wild rituals, but they also need to make sure they can capture the moments in a Pinterest perfect party.