As one of the most challenging years the world has experienced in decades comes to an end, many parents are wondering what to expect in the new year. While many parts of 2021 are still up in the air, parents can take comfort in some of the predicted parenting trends that experts foresee in 2021.
Between environmental concerns and product shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that many families are shifting towards sustainable, environmentally-friendly products in their homes. According to Liz Turrigiano, Co-Founder and CEO of Esembly, that trend will only continue into the New Year.
Turrigiano shared, “Parents have always sought what’s best for their children, but COVID put a stark spotlight on the importance of supporting the brands and organizations that truly care about their impact on both people and planet. As we look ahead to 2021, I think that we’ll continue to see parents voting with their dollars — choosing more sustainable options that are better for the health of the environment and standing up for the things that reflect their values and the world they want for their children.”
Turrigiano’s prediction is fairly spot on with what most parents are demanding too. In fact, the Deloitte Global Millennial Survey found that over 40 percent 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.
So look for even more reusable, eco-friendly options to enter the market and end up in family homes in 2021.
We’ve all been thrown into new and different schooling situations because of the pandemic. While some parents are working from home and utilizing virtual learning, others have made the choice to pull out of public schooling altogether and give homeschooling a try.
While you may think that this is just a fad created by the pandemic, many polls are finding that’s not the case. In fact, a recent survey by the American Federation for Children found that a massive 40 percent of parents plan to continue schooling their children from home even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
After being forced into home-based learning, many families are finding that the flexibility, availability of resources, and safety that homeschooling offers are all reason enough to make a permanent change. And with more companies allowing parents the option to work from home or work flexible hours, it’s no surprise that this trend will continue in the New Year.
Many parents have heard the phrase, “Food before one is just for fun,” but that may no longer be the trend in the new year. According to Regina Lee Fechter, VP of Innovation and Business Development at Happy Family Organics, “A big trend [in the new year] will be a shift from thinking that ‘food is fun before age 1’ to ‘every bite counts’ during this incredible time of growth and development.”
Fechter notes that the 2020-25 USDA Dietary Guidelines (which are currently under development) will include baby and toddler nutrition for the first time. Because of that, parents should expect stronger guidance for sugar and sodium intake, vegetable consumption, and peanut and egg introductions between 6-12 months.
However, these food-related trends won’t just impact babies — it will more than likely impact older children as well. In fact, The Wall Street Journal recently released an article that explored food trends that experts expect over the next decade. Included in the predictions were a focus on healthier eating habits as well as a resurgence in family dinner time. The good news is that these trends could reduce obesity and help our children live longer healthier lives.
The pandemic isn’t just changing how families think about school — it’s also impacting how parents view productivity and work-life balance. Because of this, Harvey Karp, Founder and CEO of Happiest Baby, think that 2021 will include “more corporations offering products [that] boost productivity and reduce the health costs of employees who are new parents.”
While this shift may include products that help parents use their time more efficiently, it may also include shifts in work-life balance. Although Pew Research claims that 1 in 5 parents currently stay at home as caregivers, that doesn’t include the increasing number of parents who have taken work from home jobs or dropped their career to seek freelance work so that they can spend more time with their children.
This renewed focus on the family leads Karp to believe that more states to “pass paid parental leave bills.” Currently, close to a dozen states have mandated paid parental leave, but Karp predicts that as many as 20 more states will jump on board in the next few years. This paid leave makes having children less burdensome to young parents who cannot afford to take unpaid time off.
Obviously, some of these parenting trends align with last year’s predictions, but there’s no denying that the events of 2020 have shaped all of these expected trends in the New Year. The best part about all of these predictions for 2021? All of them will benefit children (and parents) for years to come.
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