From plastic-free parenting to 'period parties', the parenting trends predicted to be big in the next decade

In with the wooden, out with the plastic toys. And nappies, cups etc...[Photo: Getty]
In with the wooden, out with the plastic toys. And nappies, cups etc...[Photo: Getty]

Just when you think you've got one parenting trend licked, something else comes along and renders it so 2019.

From family gaming replacing TV, to the 'Greta Effect’, period parties to plastic-free living, a new report has revealed some of the top trends expected to shape parenting in the next decade.

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

The eco-conscience the nation’s kids are developing is causing something of a power shift in families as parents are taking note of their children’s concerns, and altering their own behaviour as a result. 

So much so that the study, by parenting site ChannelMum.com, found 85% of parents would be ‘proud’ for their child to campaign for a cause they care about.

The future of parenting also looks plastic-less as an encouraging 93% of families are planning to become more environmentally friendly over the next few years.

It isn’t just parents’ plastic use that our environmental conscience is expected to influence either. According to the report we could see more parenting journeys starting from the moment of conception, with natural pregnancies predicted to rise.

Yep, eco-aware mums-to-be could look to get back to nature by going through pregnancy without scans or painkillers and with minimal medical appointments.

Although less than 1% of the parents polled would be willing to embrace an all-natural pregnancy, experts expect this trend to rise through the next decade.

READ MORE: Lola, Chloe, Felix and Harrison: The 'controversial' baby names dividing parents

Being more mindful of the planet could also have an influence on the future of family size too.

Following comments from Prince Harry and his wife the Duchess of Sussex about only having two children, parents believe the number of children to have will become more of a discussion, with 29% agreeing that two is the ideal family size.

Other trends for 2020 identified by the ChannelMum.com report include micro-scheduling, opening up the discussion about difficult births and co-working nurseries.

In a prediction that suggests family movie nights could be numbered, the study also found 47% of parents are planning to try gaming together in 2020 instead of sitting down to watch TV or a film.

Meanwhile, mums and dads also hope to become more mindful with 58% intending to try and take 20 minutes each day to simply sit with their children and listen to them, something known as ‘Everyday Take 20’.

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.

Commenting on the findings 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.”

READ MORE: Parents are hiring babysitters to act as 'hangover childcare'

Period parties are expected to be on the rise in 2020 [Photo: Getty]
Period parties are expected to be on the rise in 2020 [Photo: Getty]

Ten 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 grown-ups, children are becoming increasingly vocal about causes they believe in. 2020 is expected to see the trend continue, with companies even hiring children as business consultants.

2. Family gaming - UK teens spend an average of 12 hours a week gaming while eight to 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 there could be a potential risk to mother and child, the trend is predicted to rise as eco-conscious mums-to-be look to getting back to nature.

4. Period parties - To continue the fight to remove the stigma surrounding 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. Fans of the trend say it’s a new ‘coming of age’ celebration which helps portray periods in a positive light.

5. Co-working Nurseries - ONS figures show eight in 10 mums now work, with 58% of the self-employed workforce being 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 - It’s no longer enough to swap plastic toys for wooden. The top eco trend is to remove all family plastic, from nappies to bathing products, clothing and buggies. It can be expensive and difficult, but with 93% of families trying to use less plastic, it’s a trend that looks set to grow.

READ MORE: 2019’s most popular baby names revealed

Parents plan on taking time to sit and listen to their children every day [Photo: Getty]
Parents plan on taking time to sit and listen to their children every day [Photo: Getty]

7. Everyday Take 20 - With self-care being touted as a key wellness trend, parents are now seeing the plus-points of setting aside 20 minutes every day to simply sit with their children and listen to them. This mindful parenting trick 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 4% 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, with downloadable micro scheduling templates 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’.

Additional reporting SWNS.

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