Connect with us

Opinion Editorials

The growing trend of ‘minimalist parenting’ in a tech-reliant world

(EDITORIAL) With the natural progression of tech-reliance in the world today, there is a new trend toward minimalist parenting. Are you parenting right?

Published

on

Kid using VR googles representing parenting in a digital world.

Every generation must grapple with new challenges of parenting, but that seems especially true of this generation. As parenting advice spreads across the web and self-help books like wildfire our generation is rife with contradictory ideas, too many articles where fact and opinion are interchangeable, and truths are accepted without condition.

It’s no secret that many parents are skeptical of the effect technology is having on their children.

Studies have shown that leaving a child in front of an iPad or television can have detrimental long-lasting effects such as delayed speech, and deferred emotional and social development. Now a new trend, borne of the minimalism movement (see the great success of the art of tidying up and a focus on experiences over things) is suggesting that children need far less than we’re giving them and that kids with fewer toys are able to explore their imagination free of distractions.

Raised Good is a compassionate blog that questions our dependence on the many things we need to raise our children. One blog post discussed a German kindergarten that removed toys from the classroom and allowed students to explore their day completely unstructured. The children began confused at their bare surroundings, but soon they played with the classroom’s chairs and blankets making little forts. Then they began engaging with each other, communicating and creating intense and imaginative worlds.

Boredom and lack of stimulation breeds creativity. Ask any artist ever.

But is stringent minimalism the best solution in a world full of things? If our children don’t use technology will they be at a disadvantage when they start school, or worse yet, spend hours consuming screens when their exposure eventually becomes unavoidable?

Fear of doing it wrong

I was recently gifted some baby hand-me-downs and found to my surprise the sheer number of things I now have just for the baby to lie down in. But what do I know about babies?

This is exactly the problem.

Perhaps our reliance on proprietary things comes from a deep insecurity about what it will be like to parent.

Our fear of doing it wrong, or not giving our child enough overwhelms our pragmatism; our gut feeling that says, “Isn’t this excessive?”

The internet says we need these various apparatus and tools while experts demand we play our baby Mozart in the womb, let our baby cry themselves to sleep, teach our infant to sign, code, or use the toilet at three months old. It doesn’t take long to find experts that tell you to do exactly the opposite.

When we are nagged by the thought that either we are doing too little, or that we are giving too much, how can we listen to our guts and raise our children in a way that feels right to us?

More than one way

As millennials begin to raise generation Alpha (born 2010-2025) we will likely see more of a push toward minimalism in child-rearing, and likely more diverse and divisive theories about parenting, and that’s okay.

Perhaps the new breadth of parenting information that this generation is blessed and cursed with will give new parents permission to follow their guts.

When my little nugget shows up in November, I plan on making parenting choices slowly. I will learn with my baby as my baby learns with me, and I will keep in mind that every parent, child, and family is different.

Maybe that will be the millennial’s mark on parenting, that our very treasured uniqueness requires a variety of parenting styles, and that we may take parenting advice with a big grain of salt.

C. L. Brenton is a staff writer at The American Genius. She loves writing about all things, she’s even won some contests doing it! For everything C. L. check out her website

Continue Reading
Advertisement
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Paul O'Brien

    July 26, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    “It’s no secret that many parents are skeptical of the effect technology is having on their children.”

    Great article.

    I’m skeptical of the need schools seem to have to fund tablets so kids can be exposed to technology. I’m skeptical of the VAST difference between a kid watching and learning from a television show OR learning to make a computer work vs. learning to wiggle their finger to play Candy Crush.

    That said…
    Building with minecraft? Figuring out how to create a website? Playing coding or math games? Producing a movie with their smart phone? Figuring out how to podcast? Playing with robotics?
    Worth all the time in the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Opinion Editorials

Remote work or no work? Concerns about WFH vs. returning to office

(EDITORIAL) There is an ever-growing divide and concern between employers and employees regarding policies over work in office or from home.

Published

on

Work in office with headphones on, making use of flexible four-day workweek.

When the pandemic started and work from home become the uncomfortable-at-first norm, no one knew exactly where the idea of remote work for office jobs was headed.

We know now, and the office just isn’t all it was cracked up to be.

From better views and healthier lifestyles to huge decreases in childcare costs, transportation, and wardrobe expenses, many workers say they’re not interested in going back, and some bosses aren’t happy. Other managers and owners aren’t giving their employees a choice. The remote exception is gone.

In March, Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees to be prepared for a return to their campus in a hybrid model this week.

“We will begin the hybrid pilot in full on May 23, with people coming to the office three days a week — on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday — and working flexibly on Wednesday and Friday if you wish,” he said in a memo sent to staff in April.

Cook is not alone. Across corporate America, management is insisting employees return to the office.

Even President Biden chimed in during the State of the Union speech saying,

“It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again,” Biden said. “People working from home can feel safe to begin to return to the office. We’re doing that here in the federal government. The vast majority of federal workers will once again work in person.”

A Good Hire survey of 3500 American managers shows 75% of managers want a return to the office even though they said productivity did not decline during work from home. 51% believe their employees want the same thing. However, a Future Forum survey by slack found just 17% of employees want to return to the office daily and only 34% of employees want a hybrid model.

The reasons for the disconnect are plenty.

Mother.ly contributor Beau Brink shared in a column last July about the impact Work From Home has had on her employee resource group for people with disabilities, neurodiversity, and invisible illnesses.

“Even though 2020 had been hard, the upside was that we were managing our conditions better.”

Women bore much of the weight of moving work out of the office when the pandemic started.

Overall, women lost a net of 5.4 million jobs during the recession caused by the pandemic—nearly 1 million more job losses than men.

When some who had lost their jobs found new work from home employment, they also found a new perk. A raise because they no longer had to pay high childcare costs.

Employees cite better health as a reason they want to continue working from home as well. COVID numbers ebb and flow, but it’s more than that, they say. They’re able to work out, eat a more nutritious diet, and set a more casual, less stressed schedule.

In her mother.ly column, Brink brings up the fact that the company she worked for actually did better in the transition to working from home. As the Good Hire survey showed, most companies saw the same success.

“Why any CEO would push for a move backward in the name of collaboration makes my head spin.”

The why’s are many. And indicative of a possible shift in how we view work.

If most work moves to remote permanently, are employees entitled to the same benefits they’ve seen in the past? Are they actually employees or contractors?

Those questions will have to be answered. We were on the path to having to answer them before the pandemic.

Remote work isn’t new. The pandemic just pushed it to the norm, but even before COVID, technology changes were opening remote opportunities for employees.

In the Good Hire survey managers who said productivity actually increased also showed a distrust of remote work in general.

Right now though, the survey says,

“As long as there is a talent and labor shortage, employers will still have to be flexible, and even in 100% back-to-the-office situations, workers will still be able to negotiate some remote working scenarios.”

For over two years forced remote meant comfy clothes and fresh air. Will that change? We’ll see.

Continue Reading

Opinion Editorials

Shady salary transparency is running rampant: What to look out for

(EDITORIAL) Employees currently have the upper hand in the market. Employers, you must be upfront about salary and approach it correctly.

Published

on

Man holding money in the dark representing false salary transparency.

It’s the wild wild west out there when it comes to job applications. Job descriptions often misrepresent remote work opportunities. Applicants have a difficult time telling job scams from real jobs. Job applicants get ghosted by employers, even after a long application process. Following the Great Resignation, many employers are scrambling for workers. Employees have the upper hand in the hiring process, and they’re no longer settling for interviews with employers that aren’t transparent, especially about salary.

Don’t be this employer

User ninetytwoturtles shared a post on Reddit in r/recruitinghell in which the employer listed the salary as $0 to $1,000,000 per year. Go through many listings on most job boards and you’ll find the same kind of tactics – no salary listed or too large of a wide range. In some places, it’s required to post salary information. In 2021, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act went into effect in Colorado. Colorado employers must list salary and benefits to give new hires more information about fair pay. Listing a broad salary range skirts the issue. It’s unfair to applicants, and in today’s climate, employers are going to get called out on it. Your brand will take a hit.

Don’t obfuscate wage information

Every employer likes to think that their employees work because they enjoy the job, but let’s face it, money is the biggest motivator. During the interview process, many a job has been lost over salary negotiations. Bringing up wages too early in the application process can be bad for a job applicant. On the other hand, avoiding the question can lead to disappointment when a job is offered, not to mention wasted time. In the past, employers held all the cards. Currently, it’s a worker’s market. If you want productive, quality workers, your business needs to be honest and transparent about wages.

Continue Reading

Opinion Editorials

3 reasons to motivate yourself to declutter your workspace (and mind)

(EDITORIAL) Making time to declutter saves time and money – all while reducing stress. Need a little boost to start? We all need motivation sometimes.

Published

on

Clean work desk representing the need to declutter.

It’s safe to say that we’ve all been spending a lot more time in our homes these last few years. This leads us to fixate on the things we didn’t have time for before – like a loose doorknob, an un-alphabetized bookshelf, or that we’ve put off ‘declutter’ on our to-do list for too long.

The same goes for our workspaces. Many of us have had to designate a spot at home to use for work purposes. For those of you who still need to remain on-site, you’ve likely been too busy to focus on your surroundings.

Cleaning and organizing your workspace every so often is important, regardless of the state of the world, and with so much out of our control right now, this is one of the few things we can control.

Whether you’re working from a home office or an on-site office, take some time for quarantine decluttering. According to The Washington Post, taking time to declutter can increase your productivity, lower stress, and save money (I don’t know about you, but just reading those 3 things makes me feel better already).

Clutter can cause us to feel overwhelmed and make us feel a bit frazzled. Having an office space filled with piles of paper containing irrelevant memos from five years ago or 50 different types of pens has got to go – recycle that mess and reduce your stress. The same goes with clearing files from your computer; everything will run faster.

Speaking of running faster, decluttering and creating a cleaner workspace will also help you be more efficient and productive. Build this habit by starting small: try tidying up a bit at the end of every workday, setting yourself up for a ready-to-roll morning.

Cleaning also helps you take stock of stuff that you have so that you don’t end up buying more of it. Create a designated spot for your tools and supplies so that they’re more visible – this way, you’ll always know what you have and what needs to be replenished. This will help you stop buying more of the same product that you already have and save you money.

So, if you’ve been looking to improve your focus and clearing a little bit of that ‘quarantine brain’, start by getting your workspace in order. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels to declutter and be “out with the old”; you may even be inspired to do the same for your whole house. Regardless, doing this consistently will create a positive shift in your life, increasing productivity, reducing stress, and saving you money.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Great Partners

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!