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101 Reasons to Be Optimistic About Parenting Today

There are a lot of incredible things we take for granted.

Modern parenting is hard. Really hard. The world seems to be crumbling before our eyes, and the onslaught of the 24-hour news cycle makes it easy to be a grumpy pessimist. We get it. But there are a lot of incredible reasons to think that being a parent right now — and raising kids today — is pretty frigging great. Technology is constantly improving. Kids have so much wisdom and insight at their fingertips. Plus, there’s never been a better time for men to play active parenting roles. So when we stop and look around, there are some damn amazing things to be optimistic about. That’s why the Fatherly editors sat down to discuss — and arrive at — this list of 101 reasons it’s great to be a parent today. Take a look — and think positively. For a little while, at least.

  1. Kids are more aware of nature and the impact their actions have on the Earth. They recycle, they compost, and they rarely litter.
  2. Kids have more awareness of others and a greater sensitivity to differences, including kids who are dealing with autism or ADHD.
  3. Non-traditional families are far more accepted today. Most kids think nothing of single-parent families, parents with two moms or two dads, or other kinds of families that may be different from theirs. 
  4. Based on many metrics and stats, there has never been a better time to be alive. 
  5. Technology will continue to advance and our children will know and see things we could only dream of.
  6. Despite the baseness of the internet, any sort of knowledge a child wishes to acquire will be available to them. Their only limits will be their own willingness to engage. 
  7. You can share your favorite movie instantly with your kids.
  8. There are so many superheroes for kids to enjoy and look up to. 
  9. Thanks to technology, language barriers will continue to fall away. Our children will be able to connect with people all over the world with ease. 
  10. There is no shortage of help today, even as we live further from older generations, the access parents have to knowledge about parenting is enormous and helpful. 
  11. The physical world is a lot safer than it ever was. Letting kids explore the real world has fewer risks than it once did.
  12. Build-your-own-robots. Enormous princess castles. Mini luxury cars. Toys today are fucking incredible.
  13. The emphasis on raising kids in an emotionally honest and open way is fueling better bonds and connections between kids and parents. 
  14. We know more than ever before about what it takes to raise healthy, intelligent, emotionally aware, well-rounded kids.
  15. Drug use is on the decline.
  16. Your kid might actually get the flying car or jetpack that you thought you’d get to use. 
  17. Considering current trends, you’ll never be at a loss for knowing what your kid is doing. Instead of calling you’ll be able to connect with them — or just listen to their podcast.
  18. There’s no better time for dads, socially and culturally, to be a part of their children’s lives.
  19. Weed is plentiful. 
  20. Cookies. More diapers. A cleaning service. You can order literally anything online and it will appear at your door the next day.
  21. The iPad makes road trips and flights more manageable.
  22. If a kid has food allergies, there’s a wide array of options for them at pretty much any grocery store.
  23. Empathetic discourse in elementary school is advanced. Like, your kid’s going to learn a few things.
  24. Honey-crisp Apples. Kiwis. Pineapple. Avocados. Produce that was once hard to come by is available at pretty much any grocery store. 
  25. There are more female role models — CEOs, superheroes, world leaders — than ever before.
  26. Playground equipment is so much safer than the wobbly, metal death traps that used to be in schoolyards and parks.
  27. Restaurants, classes, parks, rock walls — there are kid-friendly versions of nearly everything you’d want.
  28. Modern baby carriers are incredible. 
  29. There is more of an awareness of — and treatment for — mental health issues than ever before.
  30. The development of CRISPR-based genetic engineering will help correct genetic disorders, prevent the spread of disease, and even help save crops.
  31. We’re so close to curing cancer.
  32. The entirety of history is spread out before us, waiting to be read and learned from.
  33. With relative ease, you can travel to pretty much anywhere in the world.
  34. Thanks to the Instant Pot and other such cooking equipment, preparing a nutritious family dinner has never been easier.
  35. You can share everything you loved as a kid with your kid, with the click of a button.
  36. Documenting family life has never been easier. Your kids will have a full view of their childhood. 
  37. Car seats are as safe as they’ve ever been.
  38. Want to make a casserole? Fix a broken faucet? Learn a new song for your kid on the guitar? Create incredible pancake art? There’s a YouTube video for that, with a cheery host happy to guide you.
  39. The ability to work from home is an option for many parents.
  40. Kids snacks are incredible.
  41. Archery. Indian Dance. Daddy and Me Rock Groups. There are hundreds of fun, interesting classes for little kids to experience.
  42. You can set calendar reminders for everything. 
  43. Society approaches accessibility and disability issues with much more concern.
  44. Autonomous vehicles are coming. Won’t that be cool?
  45. Thanks to artificial intelligence, your kids probably will likely have that robot friend you’ve always imagined.
  46. Literacy is at an all-time high.
  47. Global child mortality rates (for children under 5 years old) have dropped by 53 percent since 1990.
  48. Violent crime has fallen significantly in the past quarter-century.
  49. High school graduation rates are at their highest ever.
  50. Teenage binge drinking is far lower than it ever has been.
  51. For artists, there’s never been a better time to show your work to a willing audience.
  52. Chances are, your supermarket has one hell of a craft beer selection.
  53. Have you seen those wifi smokers? You can cook a pork shoulder for 12 hours from the comfort of your couch. 
  54. Think about all the money you’re saving by not having to develop camera film.
  55. Cars have airbags and crumple zones. They’re made of steel that can survive wild impacts. That technology will only improve.
  56. Man, they’ve made some strides in the sippy cup — and other leak-proof containers.
  57. Dogs and cats are not remotely endangered.
  58. Hoverboards exist!
  59. As glaciers melt and ecosystems collapse and species disappear, you will be inspired by nature’s fragile beauty — and this could be the thing that saves it.
  60. All things considered, the Avengers is a fun franchise to bond over. 
  61. Emojis, GIFs, and DMs are damn fine ways to stay connected with friends.
  62. Our parents will, in all likelihood, be healthier and live longer than theirs, and that’s something. 
  63. Speakers that you command to make fart noises, set kitchen timers, and call Grandma are a part of life. 
  64. Kids are growing up in a media landscape that has always been super concerned about female empowerment and diverse representation.
  65. Our kids might go to space — or even visit Mars.
  66. Thanks to streaming music you can get past the most annoying kids’ music and find something you both like.
  67. There are so many ice cream options for those who are lactose intolerant. Sundaes for all!
  68. Have you played a modern video game? They’re amazing.
  69. There’s a diverse array of truly clever, thoughtful children’s films you can watch with your kid without needing to do tequila shots.
  70. Thanks to the wonders of the iPad, you can now actually go to a restaurant or survive a long flight with a bored child.
  71. It’s now possible to never go to a store with your child and that is goddamn amazing.
  72. Telecommuting means less time on the road and more time with your kids.
  73. Two words: Stick. Sunscreen. Now there is a way to apply sunscreen to a kid that won’t result in your kid being a goopy, teary-eyed mess.
  74. They have kid-friendly breweries (and bars and movie theaters) now with play areas and everything and that’s the most perfect thing.
  75. Ultralight strollers. Super-comfy baby carriers. Smell-trapping diaper pails. Baby gear is only getting better.
  76. FaceTime and Skype make it easy for the extended family to be a part of your kid’s lives. 
  77. Society at large understands the problems within outdated notions of masculinity — and is working hard to help raise boys who are smart, strong, and, most importantly, emotionally aware.
  78. There are nearly 1,000 roller coasts in the U.S.
  79. The percentage of students reporting that they’ve been bullied has dropped by more than a third since 2007.
  80. There is a greater cultural acceptance of, and guidance for, mothers who are breastfeeding.
  81. There are more changing stations in men’s restrooms.
  82. Virtual reality will change education in ways we can only imagine. 
  83. If a girl wants to date a girl, she can. If a boy wants to date a boy, he can. If one wants to transition to a member of the opposite sex, they can. Inner self-identity can be actualized.
  84. Kids will have an easier time finding a spiritual tradition that suits them.
  85. A generous, helpful community of people is just a click and a swipe away.
  86. The U.S. is starting to realize the immense benefits of paid family leave.
  87. Funny YouTube videos exist.
  88. Hyperloops are coming.
  89. Poopouri. 
  90. Honestly, online banking is pretty great.
  91. Dishwashers and microwaves make everything easier.
  92. Have you driven a minivan or SUV? Modern Mom and Dad mobiles are fantastic.
  93. Same-sex marriage is legal.
  94. There are special socks to defend your feet from stepped-on Legos.
  95. The hapless, bumbling dad stereotype is going the way of the dinosaur.
  96. Need a babysitter? A dog walker? There’s an app for that.
  97. Uber, Lyft, and other modern car services make trips to, well, anywhere so much easier.
  98. Craft beer dads. Dads who run. Craft beer dads who run. There are so many parenting groups to find and join. 
  99. The amount of silly, interesting, entertaining, and easily obtained children’s books is staggering.
  100. Leak-proof diapers.
  101. You have access to thousands of parents who are going through — or have been through — exactly what you’re going through. And, more often than not, they’re happy to help.