People Insights

April 5, 2016

Sharenting to Equal Parenting: Five Popular Beliefs on the Modern Family Explained

Explore popular beliefs about parenting in the digital age, and learn how brands can authentically engage today's moms and dads.

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CONTENTS

    The mission of parenting—to raise healthy, happy children—is timeless. But has the parenting journey changed since entering the digital age? Using commissioned research and Facebook and Instagram data , we explore five popular beliefs about modern parenting and note how brands can authentically engage moms and dads today.

    Popular Belief #1: Moms and Dads are in it Together

    Popular Belief #1: Moms and Dads are in it Together

    Popular belief says gender roles are disappearing and today’s parents share household and childcare responsibilities more than the generations before them.

    But do moms and dads agree on who’s doing what and how much?

    Dads Believe They Contribute Equally or More

    Dads Believe They Contribute Equally or More

    Fewer Moms Think Dads Contribute Equally or More

    Fewer Moms Think Dads Contribute Equally or More

    Yes and no.

    While dads are doing more, dads globally perceive that they’re doing even more than moms give them credit for, particularly when it comes to childcare, cooking and cleaning. Brands need to understand how parents are sharing the burdens of parenthood but recognize their unique yet evolving roles. Simply put, don’t forget about dads.

    Popular Belief #2: Millennials are Dividing Domestic Duties Equally

    Popular Belief #2: Millennials are Dividing Domestic Duties Equally

    Dads globally believe they do more cleaning and childcare than moms give them credit for.

    But are new dads doing better than their older counterparts when it comes to moms’ perceptions of their contributions?

    The Perception Gap Spans Generations of Parents

    The Perception Gap Spans Generations of Parents

    Percentage point gap between how many moms and dads agree that dads contribute equally or more

    Not necessarily.

    Our findings suggest that the perception gap between Millennial moms and dads is similar to that of Boomer moms and dads. As Millennials step into the role of parent, brands can ease them into parenthood by helping them recognize that adjusting to a new lifestyle and learning to share responsibilities come through trial and error.

    Popular Belief #3: People Cringe at Parents’ Oversharing Online

    Popular Belief #3: People Cringe at Parents’ Oversharing Online

    Parenting has become a digitally shared experience, particularly for new moms. New moms in the US post 2.5X more status updates, 3.5X more photos and 4.2X more videos than non-moms.1

    But does oversharing induce eye-rolling from family and friends?

    No, that’s a myth.

    While conventional wisdom holds that people on the receiving end hate “sharenting,” their actions say they actually love it, or at least like it. Indeed, sharenting can help rally friends and family, extending the modern family unit. Brands can earn their way into parents’ trusted circle by offering new ways and reasons to share and connect with the people who matter.

    Popular Belief #4: Technology has made Moms’ and Dads’ Lives Easier

    Popular Belief #4: Technology has made Moms’ and Dads’ Lives Easier

    Thanks to technology, parents have more access to information than ever before, with 70% saying they are more informed than their parents were. For example, going online can help them gather support from loved ones and make smarter purchasing decisions.

    But are there downsides to more information and opinions?

    There's a Duality to the Information Technology Provides:

    On one hand, the digital age helps us determine the best products, deals and methods of parenting. But on the other hand, it causes us to do a lot of second-guessing, which can be destructive on a parent's confidence level.

    Parent of Baby

    Canada

    It’s complicated.

    Technology can help parents feel more empowered in paving their own path. But it can also make them feel vulnerable to external criticisms. Brands need to empathize with this struggle and help moms and dads feel more confident in their own parenting style.

    Popular Belief #5: Parents See Themselves as People First

    Popular Belief #5: Parents See Themselves as People First

    Many think that parents today are more aware of taking care of themselves to be better-equipped to deal with their daily responsibilities and family stresses.

    But are parents prioritizing “me time” as much as “family time”?

    Yes.

    Yes. Millennial dads in particular are driving this movement. Brands should recognize that moms are women first and dads are men first, each having rich lives and interests outside of their children. Give parents permission to put on their own oxygen masks first.

    My family is at its best when I am at my best. I make sure I can take care of myself so I can take care of my family.

    38% of Parents

    Globally2

    What it Means for Marketers

    What it Means for Marketers

    • Seize the Mobile Opportunity to Help Inform Parents

      Parents, particularly Millennials, are using their mobile phones to make informed purchasing decisions, giving marketers the opportunity to reach the next generation of buyers. Brands need to provide these tech-savvy consumers with relevant information that offers tangible advice in a mobile-friendly way.

    • Don't Underestimate the Influence of Family Members

      Brands need to acknowledge the growing curcle of influence kids, family memebers and friends have on parents' decision making and how this web of influence transforms through the parenting journey. And in the US, parents with a kid under age 13 tend to feel more pressured to buy what their kid suggests than other parents. But as their kid grows, these parents are happier— proud, even— to have their input.3

    • Build Trust Among Parents

      Growing up in a world where technology is second nature to them, kids are often the "teachers" and parents are the "students." For parents, this often means playing a game of catch-up. Brand can earn their way into parents' trusted circle and help build their confidence in teh products and services kids are advocating for my helping them stay informed.

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