What are framilies?
Framily, as in friends and family, is the key to understand today's young families. According to Amélie, Trendwolves' Millennial families expert, Millennials "do" parenting a whole lot differently than Gen X or than the babyboomers.
What are framilies?
Amélie: ‘Framilies is a merging of “friends” and “families”. It’s an existing word, we didn’t invent it. The term is mostly used in the context of co-housing, as people tend to live together with their friends and family members again. But we at Trendwolves see framilies as much more. Framily is the new family. For Millennials, friends become like family and these self chosen family members play a very important role in their lives and those of their children.’
Why is that?
Amélie: ‘There are multiple drivers. To name a few: Millennials fan out all over the world, their parents are still at work and can’t or won’t babysit their grandchildren all the time, and there are the globally increasing divorce rates. Not only did their parents split up, young parents are more realistic on the longevity of their relationship. On top of that, Millennials really want to keep the life they had before they had children. Careers, parties, the whole shebang. They don’t want their lives ‘to be over’. So to make all of this happen, friends become very important.’
How can they still have time for their friends?
Amélie: ‘That’s a very Gen X question. Ofcourse, the large group of friends Millennials had before they became parents is now smaller. But the relationships become more intense. When they do have time, Millennial parents like to spend it with friends in the first place. They have fun, stay young, and do cool stuff together. And they don’t hesitate to take their children along for the ride. Me-time becomes we-time.'
What are typical framily examples?
Amélie: ‘For instance: a single mum finds another single mum through her social network, and they co-house with and share goods, appliances and services, to limit financial costs. One mum can babysit the children while the other is away, and so forth. Another typical trend is going on holidays together. Young families and their friends rent a house, in which there’s room enough for all of the children. In that way, parents don’t have to watch their kids all the time and still have a good time with their friends. Actually, it’s all about life hacks. How can I make my life easier, with technology on my side and with a little help from my friends.’
Amélie: ‘Young parents use technology and social media to facilitate social contacts with people living close and abroad. They share goods via Peerby, book a holiday via Airbnb and are kept up to date on what’s happening at school via a closed Facebook or whatsapp group. They activate their social media network and friends to find a housemate, a babysit or parental advice. They keep granny in the loop via a Skypecall and have a bedtime kiss with their kid via Facetime.’
What’s the value of framilies for the future?
Amélie: ‘Framilies is very today and very Millennial. Each of the drivers of the framily concept comes with a bunch of business opportunities. Especially if you couple it with our model of generation shifts, the concept is promising. It’s interesting to see how Gen Next will inteprete and adapt the framily concept.’
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