News Corp’s Kidspot.com.au today released its latest study Inside the Minds of Mums 2017 with results revealing that Australian parents have moved from the ‘helicopter’ parenting approach to the ‘Elsa approach’ which is all about ‘let it go’.
Kidspot.com.au asked over 800 mums from around the country about their mindset, reality, challenges and priorities.
When it comes to parenting today, flexibility is the number one style. Parents are so busy between family, maintaining the household, working, social media, etc, that 70 per cent of mums agree that they have no set parenting style – ‘I take it step-by-step’.
Mums today are looking to help their children become independent and give them, and themselves, more space to breathe. This is a shift from the ‘helicopter’ parenting style to ‘let it go’ parenting, with mums wanting their kids to have more freedom to explore the world, take risks and experience failure. Flexibility is also about knowing that there is no magic formula with mums needing to adapt their parenting style and re-evaluate every single day.
Mums have always recognised the importance of play as a way for kids to have fun while learning and developing new skills. However for the new generation of mums, play, or edutainment, is almost a line of conduct. Millennial mums, those aged 17-37, agree that playful is the number one parenting style.
Kidspot.com.au editor Melissa Wilson said: “As the leading parenting site in the country we connect with more Aussie mums than anyone else and we are a trusted source for them. This is our second Inside the Minds of Mums study, three years on we wanted to check in with them and develop a portrait of Australian mums today. They are individual, empowered, fun, information seekers and they have a lot to tell us.
“Families come in all sizes, shapes and realities. Depending on the age of their kids, if they are first time mums or already have three children, if they work five days a week and live in the city or if they are stay at home mums in a small town, their challenges and priorities are likely to be quite different. However finances, future opportunities for their kids and social media are common major causes of stress.
“Brands need to acknowledge these differences and adapt their message if they want to resonate better amongst mums. We are seeing that mums are connecting with brands who understand their reality and the challenges they face.”
Finances remain a common cause of stress. Mums are budget conscious and are smart in their approach. Some 88per cent of mums are looking for ways to save money on everything they buy, but interestingly the study reveals millennials are going one step further with 86 per cent of them looking for small ways to make some extra money.
Another major theme to emerge from the study is the need to prepare mums for the challenges of tomorrow. Particularly millennial mums with 60 per cent stating they are conscious their children may not have the same opportunities that they had. Whether it is preparing for the financial challenges of tomorrow, environmental challenges such as food and water wastage and how to recycle, or employment challenges for future job opportunities, mums are looking for guidance to future proof their kids in a positive yet responsible way.
Social pressure is also big with Millennial mums with 64 per cent agreeing they feel pressure to be the ‘perfect’ mum, 58 per cent easily affected by external criticism or judgment and 50 per cnet agreeing it is important that people see them looking and feeling their best, ‘I’m always on the lookout for how I can be up to date’. For this generation of constantly connected mums, there is a real tension between the rejection of perfect parenting, and the existing pressure to look perfect.