A big part of my job here at Saatchi is to understand people, their lives,what they care about. We work on a lot of brands...
So that was my first thought---but what really kicked it in gear wasthis recent article in New York Magazine called “All jo...
21 to 27 in the last 40 yearsNumber of babies born to women 40+ has doubled in the last threeyears (recession). I know wha...
We’re taking longer to grow up. There was an article a couple yearsago in NYT about the Odyssey years, the wandering we al...
Here’s a photo one of our researchers took from a cross countryjourney talking to new moms. In this home the nursery is al...
So back to my favorite article from NY Mag. The author referred to acollection of essays by women called Maybe Baby---the ...
Ok. Then we’re going to make some lemonade. Since we’re all havingkids later and know who we are and what we like, chances...
The traditional gatekeeper parenting model is a Yes and No dictator,where we stand as judge and jury.  We’re seeing here a...
The gatekeeper paradigm also means your sharing your style with yourkids. Not a creepy total mini me, but if you can tell ...
Now my kids would DIE to have this “Step 2 Lifestyle Deluxe Kitchenwith realistic sounds, granite style countertop, and 38...
When my brother had his son who’s now a second grader, I rememberhim switching out his Beastie Boys CDs in his car for thi...
Wabi sabi is Japanese for the art of imperfection. Taking pleasure inthe flaws. A lot of new moms watched their moms try to...
Instant archiving amplifies the amount of pleasure you get.Psychologists will say that when we look back on past events we’...
Ok my last but favorite thing to talk about today and really to anyonewho will listen elsewhere in my life as my colleague...
Thank you for letting me talk about my family for seven minutes ifnothing else I hope you at least have some new stuff to ...
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7 Reasons it\'s Great to be a Parent Now

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7 Reasons it\'s Great to be a Parent Now

  1. 1. A big part of my job here at Saatchi is to understand people, their lives,what they care about. We work on a lot of brands here that womenuse, so Every year we have literally thousands of conversations with real momsaround the world. One of the tricky parts of my job is I am not reallysupposed to rely on my own personal experience as a mom, but ratherrepresent what moms everywhere are experiencing.But when I thought about what I might talk about today I wanted tobreak that rule make it a little personal. My own story of being a 43year old “new mom” with two kids under the age of four, and my ownparenting experiences. 1
  2. 2. So that was my first thought---but what really kicked it in gear wasthis recent article in New York Magazine called “All joy. No Fun.”Subtitle: Why parens hate parenting. All my friends were sending it tome, oh my god you have to read this. And I did and it kind of pissedme off.Remind me of Dorothea Lange photos of dust bowl stricken mothersand their young.Not a refutation of this article which was filled with data and of coursea good juicy read like the NYMag we all know and loveI just wanted to start a different conversation, inspired by a fewtheories we’ve developed here at Saatchi from our research. 2
  3. 3. 21 to 27 in the last 40 yearsNumber of babies born to women 40+ has doubled in the last threeyears (recession). I know what kind of music I like. What my personal style is. Maybeupgraded one or two pieces of furniture from the IKEA stuff and handdowns.Started really establishing your cultural identity and that has had a bigeffect on parenting styles. 3
  4. 4. We’re taking longer to grow up. There was an article a couple yearsago in NYT about the Odyssey years, the wandering we all do betweenadolesence and adulthood---it’s getting longer. In 1960 more than70% of 30 year olds had achieved traditional milestones of adulthood,things like moving away from home, getting married, becomingfinancially independent, and having a baby. In 2007 less than 40%had. I think this is less about some Peter Pan syndrome, it’s more like Iam enjoying life this way. Who doesn’t want to feel young? And on theother end, kids are become active cultural participants earlier andearlier. I worked on the Barbie brand a few years ago and that wasalways an indicator to me, at what age a girl asks for her first Barbie,her first fashion doll. In the 70s it was 7. By 2007 it was 3. We’regetting closer together, sharing one culture. 4
  5. 5. Here’s a photo one of our researchers took from a cross countryjourney talking to new moms. In this home the nursery is also the DJstudio. What I love about this example is that this couple did not growup our of their cultural identity just because they had a kid. They’remaking both work. “Just because we had a baby does mean we’rechanging who we are.” 5
  6. 6. So back to my favorite article from NY Mag. The author referred to acollection of essays by women called Maybe Baby---the themes offreedom, travel, personal explorations came up a lot amongst thosewho chose not to have children. In many ways we can have a bigger lifewithout kids. I took this photo last night of our one bookcase along the hallway inour two bedroom apartment where four people and a cat live. Myhusband had to clear out all his music books from the bottom shelvesfor the kids books and slowly their toys have been creeping in too.There’s simply no getting around the fact that there’s less room foryou in a life with kids. Not just space for things, but on a morefundamental human level you’re in tight quarters. 6
  7. 7. Ok. Then we’re going to make some lemonade. Since we’re all havingkids later and know who we are and what we like, chances are we’renot turning our space over to a giant purple dinosaur who’s voice hasbeen known to induce seizures. Today that smaller life inspiressharing, not sacrifice. 7
  8. 8. The traditional gatekeeper parenting model is a Yes and No dictator,where we stand as judge and jury. We’re seeing here a shift to a new paradigm that emphasizes commonground, about turning you kids onto good things.It’s about shared culture together, not sacrificed adult culture andsacrificial quality kids crap.Let’s take movies. Ten years ago seven of the top ten movies wererated R; last year 7 out of ten were G or PG and four were animated.Walle was simply a great movie. Period. 8
  9. 9. The gatekeeper paradigm also means your sharing your style with yourkids. Not a creepy total mini me, but if you can tell who the kidsparents are by what they’re wearing. Back to our DJ couple who had ababy. The dad made these when his wife was pregnant. If you can’tread them these onesies say “got vinyl, Future DJ, and Hardstyle. Iremember a long time ago, in the 90s, taking photos of collegestudents wearing t-shirts that with imprints like “boys lie” and “chicksdig pale scrawny guys” . But these are even better than those t-shirtsbecause they’ve got snaps in the crotch. 9
  10. 10. Now my kids would DIE to have this “Step 2 Lifestyle Deluxe Kitchenwith realistic sounds, granite style countertop, and 38 piece accessoryset. But we’d have to get rid of our dining table. And I like my diningtable, even if it’s got a few arts and crafts scars on it. But the reality istheir favorite toy is my iPad. This is a little different than the timelessinsight that kids like the real phone better than the fake one. They areactually quite capable of, in some instances better at, the functionalityof new smart phones and tablets then we the parents are. We recentlydid a field study on kids and their access to and interaction with allthings digital, and we discovered that Kids, and I’m talking small ones,know that if they keep clicking the mouse or touching the screen thatsomething will happen—one kid clicked at a rate if 100x per minute.We still tend to expect devices to have the logic of a control panel.They are much more comfortable with the ambiguity of the experience.Try leaving a two year old alone with an iPhone. He’ll be watchingyoutube videos before love.. And he’ll probably type before longbefore he writes. 10
  11. 11. When my brother had his son who’s now a second grader, I rememberhim switching out his Beastie Boys CDs in his car for this band calledThe Wiggles, an australian kids band, one of the first really big kidmusic sensations on a commercial scale.Today you can still get the Wiggles, but you can also get DinosaurJr.’;s many kid albums, or the Barenaked Ladies, or Ziggy Markley s.One of our favorite labels Baby Loves Disco a out kid albums frombands like Jurassic 5, their kid nom de plume is the Dino 5.But more and more our kids just love the same music we love. I thinkthis is a little like those smart parents who never start feeding theirkids mac and cheese and they’re eating sushi and lamb as toddlers.Ziggy’s kid album is great, but just plain ol Bob Marley is pretty goodfor kids too. Both of mine go to sleep every night to three little birds.Play you an example of the range we have in kids music today. Atraditional kids song the Wheels on the Bus vs Ting Tings cover ofHappy Birthday, which happens to be my daughter’s favorite song oflate. The choice is yours. 11
  12. 12. Wabi sabi is Japanese for the art of imperfection. Taking pleasure inthe flaws. A lot of new moms watched their moms try to have it all ---and they know you can’t. Superwoman is a myth. Work life balance isa myth. So there’s been a bit of a reversal on this one---not onlyacceptance that we can’t do it all, but a celebration of it. Flaunting ourflaws. Joking about the fact that don’t want your kids to learn to read aclock because that means you can’t put them to bed early when youneed a break is not only au courant, it’s a relief to admit. There is awhole new genre of bad parenting books with titles like Dirty Secretsand Notes from the Asylum---I actually was given two copies of thiswhen I was pregnant with my first. Thanks for the high hopes people.But aside from good relatable fun content, all this serves to let us knowas parents that doing our best,, and doing it our own way, is actuallytotally OK and pretty damn good. 12
  13. 13. Instant archiving amplifies the amount of pleasure you get.Psychologists will say that when we look back on past events we’vearchived or documented in some way, we tend to gild them with apositive glow.Nostalgia feels good. Average kid born in the 70s would have had maybe a half dozen bigphoto opps a year. Halloween, christmas, birthday, first day of school.Photos all tucked away in a shoebox or album somewhere.Today we’re taking thousands and thousands of photos and videos andwe’re probably carrying a lot of them around in our pockets every day.We can get the instant afterglow that adds to our feelings of pleasureand reward. Every Sunday night at my place we all crash on our bedand look at all the photos and little movies we made over the weekend.A trip to Central Park is instantly elevated to a little Godart film withthe kids running hand in hand. Of course we did not archive thetantrums and whining. Isnt this great??? Wasn’t this an amazing,perfect weekend? I love instant nostalgia because it rewards me as aparent whenever I have a moment to do something as simple as turnon my phone and look at the screensaver. 13
  14. 14. Ok my last but favorite thing to talk about today and really to anyonewho will listen elsewhere in my life as my colleagues will attest. YoGabba Gabba. One of my favorite TV shows period. Hosted by one DJLance who wears Orange high tops and Kozells. My daughter told meshe wants to marry DJ Lance and I had to break it to her gently that DJLance might be more of a friend, she goes shopping with, than aromantic interest. DJ Lance has guests like Jack Black, Amy Sedaris, thealways creepy Anthony Bourdain, musical guests like the Shins andWeezer, and a regular segment called Bizs Beat of the Day with BizMarkie. It’s got all the basics you want like counting and don’t biteyour friends for your kids, but to be clear this is Sesame Street for thenew generation of PARENTS. I look forward to it as much as my kidsand we always watch it together. This is a backstage photo fromCoachella this year where the whole cast of the show performed. I wasnever even cool enough to go to Coachella. But Yo Gabba Gabba is. Ithink this is Andrew VanWyngarten from the band MGMT hi fivingBrobee, one of the characters from the show.So the last thing I wanted to share with you today is one of my family’sfavorite counting songs from Yo Gabba Gabba, and just for fun firstshow you a classic Sesame Street counting video first. The lesson’sthe same, the culture is now shared.VIDEO PLAY: Classic Sesame Street counting video vs. Cornelius1-2-3-4-5 14
  15. 15. Thank you for letting me talk about my family for seven minutes ifnothing else I hope you at least have some new stuff to download oniTunes whether you have kids or not. 15

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