5 Parenting Trends That Will Be Huge in 2018
Last year, we told you all about woodland-inspired nurseries and creative play through storytelling, but a new year means a whole new batch of parenting trends. Here’s what’s on tap for 2018.
Paid Paternity Leave
Now that men are increasingly taking an equal role in parenting, and research shows that the first six weeks are a crucial time for bonding with baby, progressive companies are undergoing a major shift. In the past few years, the thought-leaders at Apple, Google and Facebook have begun to offer paid paternity leave (up to 17 weeks at Facebook) and some states (California, Rhode Island and New Jersey) have formalized the benefit, providing up to six weeks PFL for new dads. Look to more traditional companies to follow suit in 2018.
Pre-Natal Gmail Accounts and Instagram Handles
Sure, it’s a cool way to document the major baby milestones, but that’s not the only reason parents are starting email accounts for their kids before they’re even born. According to The New York Times, scouring email and social media handle availability is actually starting to influence baby name selection since parents want their kids to have their online presence activated immediately after birth. They also want to guarantee that the name they choose comes with a handle not already taken, hence the creative spellings of otherwise common names. (Think Jaxson versus Jackson.)
While the trend of empowering little kids with body positivity isn’t going anywhere, there’s a growing movement for body neutrality, or feeling relaxed and neutral about one’s physical appearance, rather than celebrating it at every turn. The idea is that children and teens (especially girl ones) should spend less time even thinking about what they look like, and more time learning to be people of substance.
More Kid Tracking
Helicopter parenting first came into parlance in the ’90s, and nowadays it’s taking a digital turn. In 2018, expect to see more devices and apps designed to casually keep tabs on your kids. The Jiobit, for example, is a teeny-tiny gizmo that clips discreetly onto your children's clothes and provides accurate location tracking so you can follow them about their day. Another slightly more aggressive option: ReplyASAP, an app that freezes a child’s phone usage until they reply to your worried texts. The bottom line: Tech-based parenting has reached its logical paranoid conclusions.
Royal-Inspired Baby Names
Given that Kate Middleton is due with her third in April, royal baby names are back on the brain. While some parents will copy the Duchess verbatim (see our predictions here), others will fall back on royal classics, even slightly old-fashioned ones like Albert, Eugenie and Leopold.