Getting information to millennial parents (born between 1980-2002) with preschoolers means both social media and connecting with wider families, according to findings from the National Parent Survey: Millennial Connections just published by Zero to Three. Parents want to know about developmental milestones and language and communication skills. Everything they wanted to know about had a strong connection with early language, with the exception of motor skills and how to access health care.
Parents looked first to their immediate family for advice. Nothing surprising there - Grandma wins over Google. The challenge is to get grandparents to pay attention to new ideas and information, such as new public health or neuroscience information (like using car seats, changes in attitudes around discipline, safe sleeping, talking more with babies).
Grandparents already know how to raise successful children. One approach – “You’ve already done a great job raising your kids. Some things have changed since you started out as a parent. Here’s some things that are coming up for parents today that are a bit different” Zero to Three have published information for Grandparents: Sharing the Care with short video clips that affirm the importance of their role. Faith leaders and organisations were another important source of guidance for parents.
Trusted relationships, particularly family, health professionals and early learning teachers were really important- parents are overwhelmed with information. Many parents used the web to look for information about personal topics that they may not want to talk about with friends – how to bond with their baby, managing toddlers’ temper tantrums for example. Three out of five parents looked for videos with ideas on parenting
Things to remember:
- Always think Baby + 1 – babies never come alone!
- Think about apps not phones. An app may have a longer shelf life than many people’s cellphone numbers. Many parenting apps are coming on stream, providing child development information and tips.