Are you familiar with the “Slow Parenting” movement? I just learned about it during my recent trip to Spain and I think it’s something we all may want to know more about as it may have an impact on the toy industry.
The “Slow Parenting” concept is that childhood has gotten much too fast and much too competitive. Here is how Carl Honoré, the author of The Power of Slow: Finding Balance and Fulfillment Beyond the Cult of Speed, defines it.
Slow parents give their children plenty of time and space to explore the world on their own terms. They keep the family schedule under control so that everyone has enough downtime to rest, reflect and just hang out together. They accept that bending over backwards to give children the best of everything may not always be the best policy. “Slow Parenting” means allowing our children to work out who they are rather than what we want them to be. Slow parents understand that childrearing should not be a cross between a competitive sport and product-development. It is not a project; it’s a journey.
“Slow Parenting” looks for toys that are simpler and allow the child to use its imagination more freely. Many of these toys are homemade or created by artisans. It is essentially a push back against mass produced toys or toys that do too much of the work for the child. Here is how the “She Knows Parenting” blog puts it:
The types of toys “Slow Parenting” proponents encourage are open ended — toys that allow the child to use his imagination, creativity and natural curiosity instead of those that flash, blink, make noise and otherwise direct a child how to play.
…[E]njoy playing with cardboard boxes and other 'toys' that didn't dictate how [they] should [be used] ." Some recommendations are Legos or simple wooden building blocks…[B]asic Lego sets rather than the 'kits' that are supposed to build a specific object.
Other toys are not really toys at all — paper towel tubes, cotton balls, pillows, boxes of different shapes and sizes, chairs and a blanket … the possibilities are endless.
At this point, it seems the concept still seems a bit amorphous but could be highly appealing to a rising Millennial generation, which unlike its parents and grandparents, feels the need to be more frugal and look for a higher value proposition that meets their personal ethics.
Are you familiar with “Slow Parenting” and if you are can you give us further insights?