Top Parenting Trends For 2009


michelle_obama_white_house_350x416Ahhh yes, the news drought of the holidays is in full swing, begetting stories like this one from the unfortunately-named “The Mommy Files” blog: The Top Parenting Trends of 2009.

Okay, despite my snark, I think this is really more or less on the money. What’s writer Amy Graff’s take on what we were talking about this year?

One was recent — a New York Times magazine article from last week that talks about being married, happily, with issues. The very long article tracks a writer’s journey through various forms of marital therapy, and was actually very interesting in that many of the appraoches seemed to dredge up more problems than they actually solved. Still, I agree with Graff that for many of us exhausted, 40-something parents who are way, way, wayyyy past the infatuation phase with our beloved partners, it served as inspiration to perk up our marriages a little, or at least apply some of the perfectionism and engagement we show in our relationship with our kids to our relationship with our partner.

We’re also talking about NurtureShock, the “bad parent” phenomenon (hmmm, wonder where that came from?), letting our kids go free-range, hating homework, yelling at kids, gardening just like Michelle Obama, Twittering every moment of our lives, and going back to work because our financial safety net has gone poof in the economic crisis.

I’d add downscaling — I see fewer people obsessing over the trendiest stroller or cutest diaper bag. We want what works best, and we don’t want to pay $800 for the privilege. Also, this was the year pretty much everything went BPA-free, which is nice for those of us who can’t shell out for a bunch of stainless steel water bottles.

What do you think are the most notable parenting trends? And which ones would you like to see just go away already?