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This year's parenting trends
by Clara Chow

The kiasu parent might remember 2012 as a watershed year: In August, tiger mums and dads felt the paradigm shift when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged Singaporeans to hold off the overzealous hot-housing and let their children enjoy their childhoods.

Individual muttering about stress in the education system swelled into an impassioned national debate. The PSLE is getting a relook and, suddenly, comparing how many As your kids got or opting only for elite schools seems so... 2011.

Manic Mummy predicts the parenting trends of this year.

OUT: Celebrity babies

IN: Royal babies

Blue Ivy, who? All eyes will be on Prince William and the Duchess’ royal progeny when he or she arrives in the middle of this year.

While celebrity babies have dominated the news in the past few years – yes, you, Suri Cruise – infant aristocrats may just spark a new fever, with copy-cat baby products and dedicated blogs, soon.

Besides the unborn future heir of Britain, there is Sweden’s Princess Estelle (10 months), and Danish twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine (who turn one on Jan 8).

OUT: Lax school security

IN: Plugging loopholes that endanger our schoolchildren

The Sandy Hook tragedy is the latest in a string of school shootings in the United States.

Last month, too, saw 22 children stabbed in a school attack in Henan, China. Singapore has strict gun-control rules, but these are sobering reminders that we should not take our children’s safety for granted.

OUT: Education Trust Funds

IN: Housing Trust Funds

With sky-high property prices here, it might make sense to help your kids build their nest eggs the moment they are born. Otherwise, they may never be able to afford to move out (and you’ll never be rid of them).

OUT: Wizards and vampires

IN: Tough girls

With the success of The Hunger Games books and film, major publisher Scholastic is predicting big things for books with powerful female characters, such as Prodigy by Marie Lu and Lawless by Jeffrey Salane, coming out this year for young readers.

OUT: iPads for games

IN: iPads for schools

At least one local publisher is developing a textbook for iPads, so expect tablets to feature at some point in your child’s classroom.

OUT: Yucky kids’ meals

IN: Fine-dining for kids

British celeb chef Jamie Oliver will bring his Jamie’s Italian restaurant here this year. We hope he brings his Feed Me Better campaign to improve school meals here, too.

Restaurants can also take a leaf out of the book of posh eatery Chenery Park in San Francisco that has instituted kids’ night once a week to drill etiquette into tykes.

OUT: Baby showers

IN: Dad-chelor parties

More dads abroad are having them and why not? It’s the last hurrah with child-free mates before your baby arrives – and sleep-deprivation begins.

OUT: Fancy English or hanyu pinyin names

IN: Old-school dialect names

Forget trendy names like Brayden, Renesmee or Ziyi.

Hipster parents, taking a cue from their favourite cult boutique or cafes like Chye Huat Seng, will be giving their babies decidedly old-school monickers like Chia Soon Hock.

OUT: Lamenting that childbirth ages you

IN: Having kids, because it makes you live longer

The latest from researchers who possibly have too much time on their hands: Parents are up to four times less likely to die than those who go through fertility treatments but fail to have kids.

Coming soon, on a population- policy poster near you?

clarac@sph.com.sg


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