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Top Parenting Trends for 2011: What Are They?

I predict that spats will make a big comeback with kids

It’s that time of year again, when pundits of all types begin weighing in on trends to watch for the coming 12 months. Parenting prognosticators are no different; here at Babble, we made our list of the top parenting trends of 2010, and now the editors at iVillage have released their list of predicted trends for 2011.

According to iVillage, trends to watch include kids dressing 80s style, the end of drop-side cribs (which isn’t exactly a trend, but a safety mandate), and moms feeling sex-deprived.

Well, alrighty then.

The one trend iVillage called out that I really do think will kind of explode in the next 12-24 months is parents installing apps on their kids’ cell phones and other gadgets that allow real-time tracking of kids’ physical locations. In fact, I just told my 15 year old daughter last week that we intend to install Google Latitude on her phone as a safety measure. She was okay with that, but then she broke her phone, so now my trendy plan will have to wait until after she saves up for a new phone.

Really, though, most futurecasting is just a list of entertaining guesses. And since that’s the case, I’ve decided to make my own list of parenting predictions for 2011 – based on absolutely nothing whatsoever except for my own opinions. So without further ado, here are Katie’s Parenting Trend Predictions for 2011:

  • Baby jet packs: Babies will be fitted with tiny, backpack style jetpacks that allow them to zoom around town at will.
  • Toddler hamster balls: You know those clear plastic balls that allow hamsters and other pet rodents to roll around a room without injuring themselves or getting lost? Well in 2011, these same plastic balls will become available for toddlers, and parents everywhere will rejoice.
  • Middle schoolers will gain the right to vote: After a social media-driven campaign making the case that 13 year olds should be given the vote,  the Constitution will be amended in 2011, allowing Justin Bieber to wield powerful influence in U.S. electoral politics.
  • Segways will replace cars as the hot gift for 16 year olds: High school juniors everywhere will be proudly tooling around their neighborhoods on Segway scooters, casting disdainful glances at their peers who were unlucky enough to receive an actual automobile on their 16th birthdays.
  • Apple will release an app that actually changes nappies: Parents who have come to depend on their iPhones and iPads to entertain their kids on long car trips will be thrilled to learn that they can now actually turn everyone’s least favorite parenting task over to Steve Jobs.
  • Kids will begin dressing 1920s flapper-style: Forget the retro 80s look. In 2011, kids will be all about bobbed hair, fringed dresses and spats.

So those are my parenting trend predictions for 2011.  I am pretty confident that all of them will happen, too. How about y’all? What are your predictions for the year ahead? Tell me in the comments below.

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