Parenting, families and education were at the centre of many important conversations last year, that spread much beyond the community of parents or teachers: it felt like a few times the world woke up to the importance of parenting issues, and that they were discussed extensively. We want to carry those debates and conversation forward in 2013, beginning with these five important issues.
1 – Gender equality, children and parenting
From this video of a little girl questioning gender stereotypes generated by toy makers, to the dollhouse that will make girls like STEM, to the petition that got Hasbro to produce a gender-neutral Easy Bake Oven, the discussion about the importance of raising kids without enforcing gender stereotypes has been rather alive. We feel that the understanding of how important the first few years of life are in building your expectations for the future is growing, and many more initiatives have been taken lately to ensure gender stereotypes aren’t enforced on kids. Which is great, because we need more girls like this:
2 – Mothers and work-life balance
With her article “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All‘ Ann-Marie Slaughter definitely brought the issue of the limits society still puts on working mothers at the centre of attention. For weeks after the article was published in The Atlantic thinkers, writers and opinion leaders from all fields discussed the matter, and it seems to us that this brought a lot of attention on what needs to be done for women to truly have equal possibilities. We strongly believe that if men can “have it all” (a family, and a career), then so should women, and society needs to work to ensure that happens.
3 – A family is a family
1012 has been a great year for LGBT rights, and steps forward have been made toward the understanding that – no matter if you have a dad and a mom, two dads, two moms or a single parent – what counts is that you have love in your life. We all need to work so that this becomes something so normal we don’t even need to talk about it. Because love is pretty simple really. And kids get it:
4 – Raising our kids in a gun-free environment
In 2012 there have been too many episodes of shootings involving kids, and the tragedy of Newtown was just the most shocking, unacceptable event. We never want to read of similar news again (just yesterday an armed man tried to enter a suburban New York school) and we think that gun control is, at this point, a parenting issue. We hope the debate doesn’t die until the next tragic event and that we manage to prevent any other absurdity from happening.
5 – Education, technology, innovation
Technology is bringing amazing developments to the world of education, and we know that there is an incredible potential in using gaming and interaction to help learning. Many initiatives (GameDesk, for instance) are being successful, helping especially the kids who would traditionally have more difficulties at school. We want to hear of many many more projects focused on using technology for education, and even more we want the debate to be alive: only by discussing the best practices, successes and doubts we will be able to create the very best products for our children.