Category Archives: dads

Snowplow parenting

The recent college admission bribery scandal has generated at least one new term: snowplow parents.

This is being defined as moms and dads who clear out everything standing in their child’s path to success. Some observers say it’s obsessive helicopter parenting, or extreme monitoring.

Parents have always had to draw a fine line between helping a child and helping a child too much. The ongoing media commentary is continuing to profile snowplow parents who rob children of learning how to solve problems and develop adult skills.

Perhaps all this attention will trigger some moms and dads to look more closely at where they draw that line.

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Move over, Mom

Mom bloggers have dominated headlines and captured the attention of bargain shoppers, but dads, especially millennial dads, are crashing into the online parenting space.

Recent research indicates that more than half of dads say they are better fathers because of what they’ve learned through social media.

Dads are still faster than moms at adopting new tech, but perhaps those stats will flip in today’s fast-changing world.

Nostalgic deep dives

A growing number of parents are searching for a sense of continuity.

The newest reflection of the trend to look backwards goes beyond watching favorite, long ago kids TV shows on You Tube or celebrating friendship anniversaries via Facebook.

What really helps parents feel like a kid again? Pumping on a swing, scrambling up a jungle gym and skipping stones in a park lake.

Enter: playgrounds for adults. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy a bit of wholesome fun today?

Tech at every step

Parents have been quick to embrace the multiple forms of digital tech, designed to accompany moms and dads through every stage of their journey.

From fertility tracking before conception to prenatal communication devices in pregnancy to apps that connect new moms, tech is a click away.

Robots and personal assistants are the latest digital additions. Designed to help parents supervise children from adjacent rooms to answering parenting questions, data delivery is increasingly personalized. However, privacy is the issue that looms like a dark shadow.

Dump bad dads

The “bad dad” stereotypes don’t match the men I see grocery shopping with toddlers in tow or taking half days from the office to attend end of year school activities.

I’m encouraged by the level of engagement by many of the dads I see.

Some might say, “It’s taken long enough,” but even the “dadvertising” on TV seems to reflect this positive shift.

Smart speakers, smart families

Moms and dads are using voice-activated speakers to help them parent.

Researchers say parents use smart speakers to make lists, manage the family calendar, check sports scores and search for information about local sites.

But smart speakers also fit into the daily routine for kids: they like listening to music and asking to hear jokes.

Sounds like kids already see the benefits of a digital assistant!

Kidult playgrounds?

This spring, I’ve seen more parents sliding and climbing at playgrounds than ever before.

Some of that is due to dads who really enjoy fatherhood and want everyone to know it, which is fine.

But there’s true delight on the faces of parents as they squeeze through slide tunnels and pump sky-high on swings.

I’m convinced some moms and dads are trying to recapture the fun of childhood.