Executive People Director Hayley Tatum on our latest Mumdex report
Our last Mumdex report saw the first positive signs that the optimism of mums was finally on the increase. I’m pleased to say the trend continues this quarter, as we see our mums much more optimistic going into Christmas 2013 than they were this time last year. This has primarily been triggered by positive signs that the UK economy is slowly recovering. Great news for the country and politicians perhaps, but we aren’t yet seeing this translate into improved household finances and a better quality of life, suggesting that we still have some way to go before mums feel the benefit themselves. As we approach the holiday season, an important time for families, we focus on a theme which is having an increasingly significant impact on family life – technology. We explore how technology is changing the way mums live their lives and how it affects family relationships.
Whether or not it’s been fully embraced, technology is something we are all becoming increasingly reliant on and, from our research, it seems that mums are definitely feeling more comfortable about using technology to make their day-to-day lives easier. From using it to save money, become more organised and even learn new skills, technology is having a major impact on mums’ everyday lives, and I’m glad to say it’s primarily positive. In offering a wider support network, its effect is even more fundamental, with mums saying that online information and forums make them feel more confident in being a parent. And so it’s heartening to see that the benefits of being better connected are felt throughout all stages of motherhood and beyond.
The notion that technology is now a central part of life is even more pronounced for kids, who are growing up with an intrinsic sense of connectivity. On average, children today get their first tablet as 10-year-olds and by the time they are teens have both a Facebook and a Twitter account. And, more surprisingly, we are even seeing toddlers these days with their own email address and social media accounts. With these advances often happening faster than parents can keep up with, it’s no wonder that four out of five of our mums want the Government to spend more time tackling child protection online.
With Christmas just around the corner, mums have also told us how they plan to use technology to enhance the festive period. From cooking apps to connecting with family members via video calls, technology will be helping families to make the day extra special.
I’m interested to see that despite the fact families will be spending almost as much time on social media as they will spend chatting to friends and family this Christmas, many mums are keen to keep up traditional values, and many will be banning the use of technology at the dinner table. It’s nice that so many plan to indulge in some traditional Christmas board games too, showing that Christmas is still a time for good old-fashioned family fun.
I think we can safely say that while it might feel like we’re venturing into unknown technological territory sometimes, we can be safe in the knowledge that fundamental family ideals remain the same. We may be using different tools, but traditional values still hold true, and I can’t see that changing any time soon.
Hayley Tatum, Executive People Director