The year 2014 was the year of webcam childbirth coaching, lavish gender reveal parties and everything Frozen. Can 2015 compete? Yep, we think so! Here’s what to expect in the headlines — and parenting circles — for 2015.
Mindful consumption. “Mindful consumption is in contrast to mindless consumption of all-things-digital for an indefinite period of time without a defined purpose,” says David Ryan Polgar, a Connecticut-based digital lifestyle expert with a background as an attorney and educator.
Mindful consumption embraces the many positives of tech in terms of education, entertainment and staying in contact, while being cognizant of its potential negative impacts if overused. “To be mindful parents will be crafting a healthier digital lifestyle for children,” says Polger. “More and more parents are reaching the conclusion that they want their children to embrace technology, not be engulfed by it.”
Moving forward, a greater level of parents will seek a better balance between the analog and digital existence of their children.
Wondering how to do it?
All you have to do is think.
“We’ve become a society where instead of stopping to think how to drive to a location, even one we’ve visited in the past, we automatically turn on the GPS. Or instead of taking a moment to talk out tip-of-the-tongue, we simply do a quick Internet search for an answer,” says Chicago-area family therapist, Diana Turner, LSCW. “That’s building a dependency on technology.”
Turner says instead of parents and their tweens, teens and elementary-age kids automatically downloading a new app, talk about the ones you have. “We need a deeper understanding of the technology we have to prevent from using it as a substitute for creativity, learning and developing skills,” says Turner.
Mindful parenting. Also called conscious parenting, this is simply being aware and being present with your child, says Sharon K. Hepburn, a family therapist and owner of The Inner Connection, Inc., in St. Louis, Missouri. In a hectic, plugged in world, it’s easy to answer emails on your phone instead of chatting with your child while you’re pushing him on the swing or in a cart around the grocery store. But being mindful and aware can have big results. “It’s proven to change parents’ and kids’ moods and attitudes.”
Apply this to your family’s life with a little thinking, literally!
“Parents are busier now than ever before,” says Turner. “But we need to take a breather and really think about our choices.”
Leave your phone in the car on a trip to the park, zoo or grocery store to create time to engage your child. “It’s important for parents and children to make eye contact, have good communication and interact with each other,” says Turner. “Children need their parents’ undivided attention throughout the day.” And if you’re chained to your phone while you and your kids are strolling through the grocery store, your child knows he’s not the center of your attention.
Sharing kids. According to the U.S. Census, one in five women will be childless. But that doesn’t mean they won’t have a child to love. Many BFFs, sisters, etc., are “sharing” their kids with their childless counterparts. Setting up regular “visits” with a mom-like figure (the child’s Godmother, babysitter or favorite aunt, for example) gives a child’s mom and dad the chance to have a date night or quiet time alone and lets the child have another mentor and loved one in his or her life.
Vanity birth selfies. Forget about looking like you’ve just given birth. Moms-to-be in the United States will be following suit of their counterparts across the pond and packing gorgeous birth outfits and accessories into their hospital bags to ensure they look stylish and hip in the birth photos. Some popular birth clothing items include bikini tops paired with complementary earrings and necklaces to ensure the ultimate post-delivery selfie and/or labor video. Some of the UK’s top hospitals even allow new mums to have Botox and blow-dries immediately after birth.
Cake smashing. Photos of your first birthday and first piece of birthday cake were probably snapped in your family’s kitchen. In 2015, parents will be hiring professional photographers to stage a child’s first birthday – complete with gorgeous lighting, adorable outfits (that you’ll cringe when it’s loaded with frosting) and beautiful cakes. The photographer starts by snapping sweet photos that can be posed and then continues to take candids as the child, well, smashes the cake. Add a bath at the end of the photo shoot to clean away all the cake and snap some adorable bubble photos, too.
Birth collages. This kicks baby’s first photo shoot up a notch. Using interesting found objects (blocks, cereal letters, etc.) to spell out a child’s name or illustrate his birth weight, parents and photographers collaborate to arrange a personalized collage for a birth announcement.
Sip-and-See parties. Keep nosy neighbors, well-meaning in-laws and other extended family members and friends from landing on your doorstep to see the baby unannounced by sending invites or e-vites to your child’s social debut. Schedule a one- or two-hour tea (don’t fuss and make a ton of food, that’s not the point of this soirée) that fits into baby’s feeding schedule, and invite loved ones over to gaze upon your miracle.
Worried about modesty? You can request no gifts on the invite to ease your mind and eliminate pressure for guests to walk in with an expensive present.
Baby sprinkles. Showers are for first children, but many believe a family shouldn’t miss out on making the arrival of a second child just as fun, especially if number two’s gender is different from their older sibling. So to pad a once-pink nursery with plenty of blue (and vice-versa) or to simply shower a mom-to-be and her baby with love and attention, baby sprinkles – the watered down version of a baby shower – are going to gain traction in 2015.
What trends do you anticipate taking off in the new year? Share them with us and keep your fellow DailyParent.com readers in-the-know!
Photo credit: Pinterest.com