Sharenting to Equal Parenting: 5 Popular Beliefs on the Modern Family Explained

Microsite_BugThe 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 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?

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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.

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?

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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.

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?  

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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.

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?

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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.

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”?

 

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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.

 

Note: Millennial parents are ages 25–34, Gen X parents are ages 35–49 and Boomer parents are 50–65 years old.
1 Facebook internal data, ages 18+, US only, May 2014–Jul 2015. Research included 3 groups: new parents (expecting a child or with a child under age 1); parents of school-age children (ages 4–12); and parents of teens (ages 13–19). The most current self-reported and inferred data were used in combination with a proprietary method of assessing affinity to identify parents.