What will parenting be like in the 2020s?

Co working nurseries, period panties and and plastic-free living are among the top trends expected to shape parenting in the next decade, a new report has revealed.

A study of 2,000 parents found activist Greta Thunberg has inspired a generation to sit up and take action when it comes to climate change and the environment.

This is causing a power shift in families as parents are increasingly listening to their children’s concerns about the environment and mental health, and responding by altering how they behave.  

As a result, the study by parenting site ChannelMum.com found 85 per cent of parents would be ‘proud’ for their child to campaign for a cause they care about, and teach adults at the same time.

A staggering 93 per cent of families are also planning to become more environmentally friendly over the next few years, by using less plastic.

Discussions around family size, dealing with difficult births and even period parties are also among the trends parents believe will rise in popularity during the next 10 years.

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.

“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 per cent of parents are planning to try gaming together in 2020, instead of sitting down to watch TV or a film.

And 58 per cent intend to try and take 20 minutes each day to simply sit with their children and listen to them – something known as ‘Everyday Take 20’.

Other trends for 2020 identified by the ChannelMum.com report include natural pregnancy – no scans or painkillers and minimal medical appointments – which is becoming more popular as eco-conscious mums want to get back to nature.

Although less than one per cent of parents polled would be willing to embrace an all-natural pregnancy, this is expected to grow through the next decade.

A third also think period parties – where parents celebrate their daughter’s first period with red-themed food and drink to remove the stigma – is a positive idea likely to become more popular in the UK.

And following comments from Prince Harry and wife Meghan about stopping at two children to save the planet, 29 per cent of parents think this will become more of a discussion over the next decade as they agree this is the ideal family size.

10 parenting trends predictions for 2020, according to ChannelMum.com

 1.    The Greta Effect – Activism has been turned on its head and instead of listening to adults, children are becoming increasingly vocal about causes they believe in. 2020 will see more youngsters defying convention to teach adults, such as the recent climate strikes – with companies even hiring children as business consultants.

2.    Family gaming – UK teens spend an average of 12 hours a week gaming while eight-10 year olds game for 10 hours. The old tradition of sitting down to watch TV together is increasingly being replaced by a multi-player, bonding family gaming session.

3.    Natural pregnancy – no scans, no painkillers and minimal medical appointments. While health experts warn it is a potential danger to mother and child, the trend is gaining ground with eco mums who want to get right back to nature.

4.    Period parties – To eliminate the stigma around periods, UK parents have begun to adopt the US ‘period party’ phenomenon – compete with red-themed food and drink – to celebrate their daughter’s first period. Backers say it’s a new ‘coming of age’ celebration which helps put periods in a positive light.

5.    Co-working Nurseries – ONS figures show eight in 10 mums now work and since the 2008 downturn, 58 per cent of the newly self-employed have been female. Co-working spaces like Cuckooz Nest and Mama Works are responding to demand by providing offices where mums can meet, network and share childcare in a very modern ‘mum village’. 

6.    Plastic Free Parenting – Wooden toys are no longer enough. The top eco trend is to remove all family plastic, from nappies to bathing products to clothing and buggies. It can be expensive and difficult to do but with 93 per cent of families trying to use less plastic, brands are beginning to respond with the right products.

7.    Everyday Take 20 – A fitting trend for 2020, parents are setting aside 20 minutes every day to simply sit with their children and listen to them. This mindful antidote to a busy world lets children know their feelings are important and validated, and brings families closer together.

8.    Birth trauma rewind – This safe and highly effective psychological method is being used by growing numbers of mums to overcome upsetting or difficult births. Though still relatively unknown in the UK, the therapy is a big step forward in protecting mental health and emotional wellbeing. It is expected to be heavily used by the estimated four per cent of mums who experience traumatic births.

9.    Micro scheduling – 8am dishwasher goes on, 8.05am write shopping list, 8.10am check emails before school run while kids pack their bags. An increasing number of modern mums tightly plan their entire day minute-by-minute to cram in everything, and downloadable micro scheduling templates are now available online. However, some psychologists have warned the trend is ‘self-bullying’ and can damage children’s creativity by limiting free play.

10. The ‘Anti-natalist’ movement – Harry and Meghan generated headlines around the world by announcing they will stop at two children to help save the planet, but the Anti-Natalist movement is pressing people to volunteer to stop having kids at all. One extremist in India has gone even further, attempting to sue his parents for giving birth to him ‘without his consent’.

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