Parenting Trends for the New Year

By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller

family parentingWhat will happen on the parenting front in 2006? Are there signs already in place that point in specific directions? Can predictions be drawn from the evidence currently available? Will there be an upturn in taking parenting responsibility seriously or a continued slide towards parenting indifference?

While, there is no parenting crystal ball that will accurately predicts what will happen to the state of parenting in 2006, events already in place and the energy surrounding those events seem to suggest several parenting trends. Our predictions follow.

Prediction Number One: The purchase and reading of books on parenting will decline in 2006. Sale and use of parenting resources on the internet is on the rise. Traffic to sites that offer practical, useable advice for parents on specific parenting issues will increase. CD sales will also go up so that busy parents can glean valuable parenting information while they drive to work or school.

Prediction Number Two: Busy parents will continue to outsource their parenting responsibilities. There will be a dramatic increase in parenting consultants who will be hired to teach children how to ride a bike, hit a baseball, divide fractions, sleep through the night, or become potty trained. Party planners, tutorial services, and companies offering to take over parent responsibilities will flourish.

Prediction Number Three: The concept of Parent Coaching will explode in 2006. Even skilled parents will emulate professional athletes who, although they are the best in the world at what they do, have coaches who continually help them to improve and stay at the top of their game. A growing number of parents will huddle on a regular basis with coaches via the internet or telephone in an effort to learn how to raise responsible, caring, confident children.

Prediction Number Four: International Parenting Commitment Day will be recognized by a record number of families this year. Last year, March 20th was officially designated as International Parenting Commitment Day and attracted attention world wide. This year, more families will celebrate this special day with unique activities that bring attention to its importance. Check www.10commitments.net for more information on ways to celebrate this significant day.

Prediction Number Five: Fantasy sport leagues will continue to grow in popularity. This growing interest will see more men investing time deciding who to play on their next fantasy team than actually playing with their own children.

Prediction Number Six: Children's use of electronic media will level off at 6 ˝frac12; hours per day. This will do little to address the problem of the Great American Family Disconnect. The strangers that lurk in children's bedrooms (computer, television, media centers) will continue to teach attitudes, values, and behaviors as well as distract them from homework and create separation and distance from family.

Prediction Number Seven: In 2006 there will be a widening gap between children that receive effective parenting and those who's parents over-function or under-function in the parenting role. Effective parents will continue to improve their verbal skills, build family traditions, and support their children with time and energy. Simply put, high-skilled parents will get better and low-skilled parents will get worse. The parent effectiveness gap will continue to expand.

Prediction Number Eight: Reality -based TV shows about parenting will continue to attract attention. Some parents will tune in to watch how parents of unruly children learn to take control and make kids obedient. Others will watch and be appalled at what they consider shame-base parenting that attacks character and wounds the spirit. The producers will continue to find dysfunctional families with few parenting skills and out-of-control children that will shock viewers into staying tuned to the program. Many parents will view the sensationalized accounts and think they are learning valuable techniques to use with their families. Others will be appalled and simply grateful that they have been taking parenting seriously for many years and recognize that extreme measures are not needed in their families.

Prediction Number Nine: The number of parenting conferences offered around the country will increase in 2006 as will the number of participants attending. We have observed these phenomena over the past several years at the parenting conferences where we have presented and have seen a steady rise in number of attendees and new conference opportunities being offered to parents. This trend will continue.

Prediction Number Ten: Parents will show a growing interest in the spiritual aspects of parenting. Interest in our Grace-Full Parenting and Enlightened Parenting workshops are at an all time high. Seeing parenting as a sacred responsibility and as an important ministry is growing in popularity among parents throughout the world. More parents will join that group in the coming year.

What parenting trend will you help promote in 2006? Will you be a book reader or a CD listener? Will you spend more time playing fantasy football or playing with your children? Will you get your parenting techniques from a TV show or from an enlightened parenting workshop? Will you celebrate International Parenting Commitment Day, hire a coach, or outsource your parenting responsibilities. However you answer these questions in 2006, you will be helping establish a trend.

About the Authors

Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of www.thomashaller.com