Many parents are tempted to pat ourselves on the back for being the hippest, forward-thinking moms and dads around. But before we get too cozy with our coolness, it’s probably best to take a step back and ask: Are we falling prey to any parenting trends that our kids will one day think are old-fashioned and ridiculous?
Why, yes, yes we are.
Let me count the ways:
1. Elaborately drawn chalkboards announcing the first day of school
I happen to love seeing all of those super-cute first day of school photos in my social media feeds, and I think the chalkboards themselves are totally sweet.
I’m also nearly certain that once our kids are grown, they'll look at these photos and roll their eyes all the way to the backs of their heads. Or laugh hysterically at how outdated the pictures look. Or both.
2. Participating in shame-infused drama on message boards and social media
Ugh, please let it die right along with the phrase “Mommy Wars.”
Here’s hoping that by the time our kids are parents, behaving civilly on the Internet will become the coolest trend around—and that it will stick, forever.
By the time our kids become parents, screens will likely be even more inescapable parts of our lives.
3. Gender reveal balloon parties
Adorable? Yes. Festive and fun? Of course. Representative of outdated, rigid gender norms? I mean, yeah.
Already ridiculous? Let’s be honest: Yes.
4. Handing out birthday favor bags filled with useless garbage
At least I hope that this practice becomes outdated and ridiculous to the parents (and landfills) of the future.
5. Subjecting our homes (and our kids) to grey color schemes and barn doors
Look, I love grey walls and barn doors with all my heart and soul. From what I can tell, they represent sound design principles far better than orange shag carpet or mauve throw pillows or floral drapes do. (Much love to all those 70s and 80s parents and their home décor.)
But the kids of today might one day look back on pictures of Marie Kondo-ed living rooms filled with greys and repurposed wood furniture and, yes, barn doors, and think to themselves, “Oh, that looks like it came straight out of the 2010s! Blech!”
Responding lovingly to a child's needs is an unequivocally good parenting practice.
Letting kids play outside without hovering over them every single second is important, too.
But taking mostly solid parenting advice and turning it into a list of demands and thou-shalts that do more to divide and frustrate parents than unite and guide them? Yeah, the parents of the future will probably be so over that.
Or they'll have their own new crop of parenting styles that will divide and frustrate them. Hooray for the circle of life!
7. Obsessing over screen time
By the time our kids become parents, screens will likely be even more inescapable parts of our lives. In fact, we'll probably be living in a newfangled virtual reality world with artificial intelligence doohickeys permeating every corner of our existence.
That's right—I already sound old-fashioned and uncool just thinking about it.