2020 is upon us and as we face the new decade there are certain trends in parenting that are important and will continue to be critical. These trends are applicable whether you are a new parent or a parent with older children. Your baby today, will be 10 years old at the end of the decade; pretty big deal right? or what about the fact that your 15-year-old will be 25 at the end of the decade? When you look at it this way you realise that time in a child’s life means quite a lot.
I generally advise parents to spend their time wisely during the years of 0 to 10. As this is the age range where you can truly shape your child and invest in the key values that are important to you so you can set them up for the future.
Here are the top Parenting Trends for the New Decade
Total Health and Mental Health
Our health needs to be top of mind and we need to ensure that we are thinking of both the physical and mental. With the increase in several diseases linked to the foods we eat, the pollution in the world and lifestyle changes we need to keep health top of mind for all members of the family.
According to the WHO, Mental Health illnesses will be the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. We can no longer afford to ignore mental health as a key part of our goal when raising children. Self-care for parents, especially mums will continue to be a top priority in 2020 and for years to come.
We all need to work on our mental health and self-acceptance and self-care have a big role to play here. It is not selfish when you take care of yourself; in fact, when you do take good care of yourself you can take care of everybody else.
According to research, the greatest opportunity to prevent mental illness in children starts with the parents. Rather than think of mental health as only important when there is a mental illness situation, let us think about mental well-being.
Finance and Investments
We need money to take care of our needs and wants. While the cost of living seems to keep going up, the need to earn more will always be a top priority. In addition to earning more, we need to ensure that we are investing, saving and growing our wealth and adequately planning for the future. Additional ways to be financially smart include having the right insurance products; these include at the minimum home, health, education and life insurance.
When it comes to real estate; it is important to get on the ladder and to invest in real estate for the future. This should include both local and international investments. As a parent who is thinking long term, if you have your eye set on the US for higher education, you might want to invest in real estate in the US so you are earning in USD. What this offers you is a hedge against the depreciation of the Naira as you would be earning rent in Dollars. It is advisable to get a financial advisor to discuss your financial needs and goals.
Additionally, multiple sources of income and passive income are the way to think nowadays. it’s not good enough to say I don’t like numbers remember money is not gender-specific; it answers anybody that calls it and grows in the hands of the one who tends it.
Education and Creativity
When it comes to education, increasingly we are seeing that the skills the workplaces are looking for continue to evolve. Creativity is high on the list and so we must ensure that our children are being raised for the future and not the past that we knew. The choice of schools should be based on the skills needed in today’s workplace and the future. It is no longer ideal to focus on traditional roles or jobs, we need children who are ready to be competitive in the world.
As can be seen, The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report predicts creativity, innovation and ideation will be key skills for the workforce of the future. These so-called soft skills, such as creativity, are listed as number three on the list of the top skills required.
One of the top parenting trends will continue to be ensuring that we are raising children with the real skills they need for the future.
We are in emotive age where the idea of passion and purpose is so important for the millennial or Gen Ze’s of today. The truth is more than ever before people desire to know who they are and why they are here. There are more questions on why are we doing what we are doing, and are we doing what we should be doing?
Role Models are very important as well, and for our children, these include both the ones they know and the ones they follow online. Be sure to have conversations with your children about who their role models are and why. As a result of the internet and social media, your children can follow whoever they want and be influenced by them. Help them to know how to identify healthy causes and people who are a positive influence.
The quote “your network determines your net worth” really resonates with me. It is never too early yo teach our children to know how to develop healthy relationships. In today’s world where you can have global friends thanks to technology; it is important to teach our children how to collaborate and make sure that you have relationships that work for you and with you. Who is in your network and are you collaborating and creating value? If you see everyone as the competition you will not grow.
In an ever-connected world collaborating and finding the right people to align with is gold. Teach your children how to be personable, hold conversations and have digital media etiquette. Many collaborations and decisions can be made in a quick second based on your online profile. Our children are spending more time on social media than ever before and need to be aware of this. Lastly, they need to learn to make a healthy demarcation between online life and real life, there is a right balance for everything.
As we continue to talk about relationships, quality family time is the top goal when we want to teach our children to have healthy relationships. Set family traditions and be intentional to make sure you have a good open communication flow in your house. Whatever the age of your child add 10 what do you want to see? Ask yourself what kind of relationship you want to have and start modelling it today. It will be much harder to foster a close relationship with your 20-year-old adult if you did not start while they were younger.
Our children spend a lot of time on social media and are being raised in an ever-connected world. A key parenting trend will be having the right conversations with our children about their online behaviour, digital footprints and more. Too much screentime has negative effects on our children and even adults; the question is how much is too much. Parents can start by installing parental software to monitor their children’s online behaviour and of course have conversations with about being a responsible digital citizen.
Family time continues to be eroded as a result of excessive screen time, rather than true connections, people are all on their devices. One of the parenting trends will continue to be how to navigate screen time and form healthy digital habits. Make it a point to have true conversations, for example at meal times set a rule to turn off all devices.
Passive Income and Side Hustle
Everyone seems to have a side hustle which can become your business or source of passive income. Many young people today are funding their education because they have started a passion-based business that is providing both purpose and financial gain.
The average person today moves through various jobs and industries during their career, it is more difficult to rely on just one sector or industry. If you look at Nigeria for example, Oil and Gas is no longer the ultimate goal. Good working knowledge of what is trending and awareness of several sectors will be a major advantage. As your children spend a lot of time online, ensure that they are truly learning rather than just consuming junk content.
Proudly Nigerian / Identity
If you are in Nigeria look around you; there are many opportunities to stand out and do something new. We have a growing proudly Nigerian sentiment that would be good to raise our children with this desire to be proud of where they are from.
A relationship with God is something you cannot do for your children. You can lead them but they cannot ride on your intimacy with God, they must build their own relationship. The children today need God to be real and practical in their lives, share stories that will ignite their faith and build a desire to grow closer to God.
Are your children eating foods that are preparing them for a healthy future? The choices you make today will either lead to a healthy relationship with food or a lifetime fighting bad habits. Imagine a child today who loves vegetables, exercises, loves drinking water? Wow, this would be amazing.
An increasing parenting trend is ensuring that children are eating more wholesome meals; less processed foods and more organic close to the ground. Download a free Meal Timetable Here.
Here are some of our parenting trends for 2020 and the new decade ahead.