It's the year 2019. The day and age when telling them what dinner time it is and when to be home may not be enough. When allergies are more common than detention and an amber alert may ring on your phone more times than you'd like.
Now, parents have more to worry about than ever. With the access of information at our fingertips along with the technology that our children are exposed to, there are a few things that we had never thought we'd have to do, ask and request while parenting in 2019. Considering all of our daily worries and struggles, we have compiled 10 things that you'll surely recognize and understand. These are very relatable situations you may not have thought you'd encounter while parenting in 2019.
10 BUY THEM A CELL PHONE
We all knew the day was coming; however, maybe not as fast as it does. Cellphones were not even a "thing" when most of us were as young as they are now when they are introduced to the technology. You will often find toddlers being distracted with (often educational) iPad games. You may see a young child take selfies on his/her parent's cellphone. You may even notice a new born baby on a conference call to help their parent make the abundance amounts of appointments that suddenly interfere with their day-to-day.
Of course we're kidding about that last example, though it seems as though children are younger and younger when they too, in fact, own a cellphone. Depending on the family's dynamic, it could be to solely text their parents when they're at school, to assist in homework or because their parents caved considering the amount of times their 9 year old asked for one. Whatever the reason, you may be considering the purchase soon than you had hoped.
9 TEACH THEM A "SAFE WORD"
Though this may not be something new you introduce to your child, it is an idea that may be imperative. Considering the amount of appointments, extra work and overall busy schedules of parents and/or guardians, introducing a "safe word" for your child to learn in order to know it's "safe" to go along with another adult is a great idea. Not to induce the anxiety you're already feeling from the load of responsibility that parenthood already brings, but teaching your child a "safe word" will ensure their safety when traveling with another adult. Something you may not have had to think of 2 decades ago.
8 ASK IF THEIR FRIENDS ARE VACCINATED
Yes- an incredibly touchy subject to some, and incredibly important for others. Whether you've chosen to vaccinate your child or not, this is a question that you may ask or may have been asked by fellow parents. Depending on your whereabouts, some schools will ensure that the unvaccinated children stay home during disease outbreaks as they slowly come back into our society. Others will not allow the child to attend the school-board systems without a full vaccination chart.
Whatever the scenario, "are your children vaccinated?" may come up while signing them up for childcare, play dates or school attendance. This may not have been something we had expected in 2019.
7 ALLERGY TEST
We can not deny that allergies affect more children than ever before. So much so that most schools and public facilities no longer allow nuts/eggs and at times perfume in its vicinity. Many parents either introduce high allergen foods in the parking lot of their local hospital, while others may test their children before feeding them foods that most children react to. Whatever you decide, don't be surprised if you have your little ones tested whether they are allergic to certain matter or not.
6 FINANCE A STROLLER
You likely laughed as you read that title; either from sadness considering how relatable it was or from the fact that you're still in debt from your newest purchase. All jokes aside, some strollers cost more than your first car. Depending on where it's manufactured, what features it has and how many seats you can extend it to, strollers do not come easy and it's a fierce market out there, I tell ya. Whatever brand you choose, you're likely to browse some that start at $200 up to $2,000. We suggest you do your research as pre-owned is always a good decision for environmental reasons along with finance reasons. Just like a car, right?
5 TEACH THEM APPROPRIATE SEXUAL EDUCATION
Now, we are not talking about teaching your child less than what type of sexual education that receive in their school systems. Systems depending, you may be teaching them more at home. Frankly, no parent should rely on any school board to cover all of their bases regarding sexual education. Sexual education should be an on-going conversation; one that begins the moment they are able to communicate. Whether it's discussions regarding sexual orientation, consent and puberty, everything should be discussed openly without shame. In 2019, we may have expected most scholarly programs to be more thorough and progress with its programs; however, we can not rely on it to raise our children into healthy and educated individuals.
4 CARRY AN EPIPEN
Considering the array of allergies that may circulate your child's body, carrying an Epipen may not be a bad idea for your sake, your child's or another individual that may have an anaphylactic attack out of no-where. Epipens can be re-administered after 5-15 minutes of their first injections, so some households contain more than one pen. At times: some on each and every floor.
It's not a bad idea to purchase on to have on-hand just in case. Some parents decades ago did not even know what anaphylaxis was. Now, it's hard to know a child who does not carry an Epipen everywhere they go.
3 BUY A BIGGER VEHICLE
And just like that- suddenly a station wagon will not do. With the amount of extra curricular activities most children participate in, a 7-seater SUV may be the average vehicle most families of four own. That 4-seater Civic may not do without a hatch-back for easy access, used often for a quick and care-free diaper change. But, you may not have considered the expense or purchase before expanding your family. Don't be shocked if you end up test driving 198498131 vehicles before landing on your "perfect" one. It may be bigger than you had anticipated.
2 PAY FOR EARLY EDUCATION/CHILDCARE
Raising a child and/or children is no cheap feat. Not only do you have a certain amount of time home with the child covered in pay by the government, you are then expected to decide if and when you will be returning to the workplace. Some parents decide to stay home all together, considering the cost of childcare and schools. It is no easy decision, and likely not an affordable one, either. Whether you decide to go back to work part-time or full-time, or work from home while tending to the children, it's all relative. You will be compromising your finances in some way or another compared to what it was like before children. Though we have a lot more option in 2019 than ever before, it does not make the decisions easier for us.
1 ASK TO LIMIT GIFT GIVING
Oh, the birthday parties! How incredibly envious were you, as a child, when you attended a party while watching the birthday girl/boy/person open their gifts in amazement. Now, you're surprised if an invitation does not warn you that it's a "fiver" or a "gift-free" party. Not only does this save you on money spent for each party you may attend, it also allows the child (and parent) to breathe, knowing they won't be swarmed with an abundance of toys that will either be re-gifted, unused or donated. 2019 has changed a lot, my friends. Gift-giving is just one of them.