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Family trends and parenting

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As we look ahead to the New Year there are some parenting and family trends that have emerged and might be here to stay! The reality is that 2020 has been an unprecedented year like no other and within it, there have been a lot of challenges but also a lot of learning and evolving.

From spending time 24/7 to all the uncertainties of the year, it is certainly a good time to review your family vision and see what needs to change.

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Education
After being forced into home-based learning, many families have made some interesting discoveries. Education changed in many ways. Virtual learning and homeschooling became normal and parents, students, teachers and school owners became true co-collaborators in learning.

Many parents were surprised to find out the breadth of flexibility and availability of resources. For once, parents have a unique chance to ensure children are truly being prepared for the future!

As a result, one of the parenting trends we expect to see is an increased demand in virtual learning. For example, in our home, we started having music lessons virtually during the pandemic and find it quite effective.

Many four-year-old preschoolers can operate a cell phone and tablet. One parenting trend we will continue to see is parents involvement in their child’s usage of technology.

Lastly, we have seen a change in the way testing and assessments are done. Today’s testing includes online assessments and are generally more flexible, secure, interactive, and simple to deliver. For example, SAT examinations which were typically used for US college applications were cancelled.

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Quality Time
Overall, spending 24/7 with each other as a family, led to many families finding ways to do things together. This led to enjoying each other’s company and increased the bonding time among families. And, we can expect to see this change having a major impact on parenting in the year to come. Lastly, a focus on quality time as well as a resurgence in family mealtimes became a trend.

Work-Life Balance and Working from Home
Many parents and companies found out that working from home could be a viable option. For some, the saving in commute time made them so much more productive in their work deliverables. While not necessarily the solution for all types of roles, it certainly brought up several discussions such as flexi-time and other innovative working solutions.

In addition, more companies are allowing parents to work from home or work flexible hours. This is one of the parenting trends for 2021 we expect to see more; where parents look at working from home more.

Improved Communication
Communication is more critical than ever before. Parents and children were navigating the challenges and uncertainties of the year together. As a result, an open line of communication is the best way to stay connected. Let your children ask you questions that you figure out together.

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The pandemic brought concerns and anxieties that both parents and children faced together. At the end of it all, this actually led to better communication between parents and their children. Thus, we can expect to see parents continue to take the time out to listen to their children.

Healthy Lifestyles
One of the trends that are likely to continue is to see parents choosing more sustainable options; that is better for the health of their families and good for the environment. In addition, parents will continue to make choices that reflect their values and the world they want for their children.

In fact, the Deloitte Global Millennial Survey found that over 40 per cent of millennial parents choose to purchase (or not purchase) from companies based on the company’s perceived environmental impact and the sustainability of their products.

Overall, we all realised that health is true wealth, incorporating a healthy lifestyle including balanced diets, exercise and rest cannot be overemphasised.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ahead!
Contributed by Yetty Williams
Parenting Coach | Founder/CEO LagosMums
Lagosmums is a parenting and family resource for mums, parents and caregivers.

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