Tag Archives: 2012

Parenting trends: the good, the bad and the ugly

Every year we get to hear what forecasters believe will be the big trends in everything from fashion to food. There are parenting trends too, some worthy of jumping on the minivan-wagon; others, not so much. A quick Google search revealed some interesting 2012 trend reports from iVillage, Babycentre and Philley.com. Scrambled Life weighs in.

THE GOOD

1. The End of the Goody Bag. Hooray! Finally! We can thank the crap economy for putting an end to the tradition of giving birthday party attendees a bag full of dollar store junk to show them how grateful we are they are friends with our kid. I have never understood why the party wasn’t enough. You get to eat cake and juice and then run around and trash my house, kid. Isn’t that fun?

2. The Good Enough Marriage. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, iVillage reports your relationship doesn’t have to be perfect. Still, “good enough” doesn’t equate to “no effort” so it’s probably still a good idea to buy your love flowers and a card on Feb. 14th.

3. Kid Tablets. Santa gave Bennett a LeapPad for Christmas so I know the amazing power of this little tool. He uses it to draw and make patterns, takes pictures with it and practices writing his letters. With it in his hands — provided it’s fully charged — I will not fear a five-hour plane ride. Best of all it’s virtually indestructible and costs way less than an iPad.

THE BAD

1. “Dadchelor” Parties. Seriously? Guys need to find another reason to get together and get drunk? Come to think of it though, going on a bender before baby arrives is probably a good idea since all hangovers post-baby will be little excursions to Dante’s third circle of hell, where a screaming infant and a bitter wife punish Daddy for his over-consumption.

2. French Parenting. Last year Tiger mom made the news; this year it’s Pamela Druckerman and her book Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. Evidently, the French are strict and don’t coddle their kids. They also eat better food and drink wine with dinner! This is supposed to make the kids better-behaved gourmands. Now, fermer ta bouche and eat your escargot!

3. Empty Nests Fill Up. This means parents will never get rid of their kids because they’ll just keep boomeranging back between jobs and breakups. And evidently the lodgers stay put even if Mom and Dad charge rent and refuse to do their laundry (can’t you just see the French rolling their eyes and saying, “Quelle horreur!”).

THE UGLY

1. Even Older Moms. Just because modern medicine can now get 50-plus women pregnant doesn’t mean granny-mommy wannabes should head to the fertility clinic. For sure, the kids they have are wanted, but there’s just something kinda creepy about it. Do you really want all the playground moms to think you’re the grandma? Just sayin’.

What do you think? Which of these are trends you’ll embrace, and which are trends you’ll pass on?

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Make your parenting resolutions fun (for you) or you won’t follow through

I know it’s a bit late to be penning parenting resolutions for 2012, but I keep coming across blogs from other moms who have vowed to make 2012 the year they unplug from technology, let their kids try new things, or visit more museums during family field trips. So initially I thought I could resolve to be more present with my kids, practice patience, visit Michaels regularly for crafting supplies, and spend more time cavorting in golden meadows with them.

Cavorting with Bennett.

But then I thought, who am I kidding? I am already present in body (even if my mind is zooming ahead to happy hour), I’m already fairly patient since I have a four-year-old who still isn’t potty trained, I actually really hate crafts, and it’s way too cold to frolic outdoors. So why not make some resolutions I’ll stick to? They may be hard on my kids, but they’ll make my life easier and more fun.

1. No more crafts. I just don’t get cutting and pasting and glitter and googly eyes that make a mess and a craft that gets tossed two days later. Seriously, what’s the point? Sure, it helps kids hone their fine motor skills, but can’t they just do this stuff at school?

2. Cook less rice. Note to Asia: this grain is really messy! Pasta is way more manageable. Also, stop buying Rice Krispies. When they mix with milk and fall on the floor, if you don’t clean it up right away it forms an unbreakable bond that will never come off.

3. Make the kids do more chores. This will be hard to institute, but think of the rewards! They are old enough to set the table, unload the dishwasher, clean their rooms, fix their own  snacks and feed the fish. So why I am I still doing everything?

4. Take them skiing and hiking more. We live so close to the mountains, so why do I spend so much time at playgrounds and the Calgary Zoo? 

5. Travel to cool places. We used to backpack in South America and Asia. Since having kids we visit all-inclusives and rent condos in Hawaii. These trips are fun, but kind of meh. It’s not like I want the children to get dysentery from a street vendor, but a little global adventure could add some spice to their pasta life.

What do you think? Are these resolutions I can keep?