Every generation has a different parenting style. Many people grow up with the intention of parenting their children the exact opposite way by which their parents parented them.
There’s a lot that goes into parenting styles, especially in this day and age; the internet provides access to more ideas, resources, and parenting tips than ever. In this article, we’ll review our favorite tips for modern parenting to help you become a more mindful, supportive parent.
If you’re struggling to decide best parenting practices, you might benefit from the professional counseling at BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers access to free resources, including access to lists of qualified mental health professionals who can help.
What is Modern Parenting?
At its core, modern parenting is really about embracing individuality. It’s about accepting diversity within a family dynamic, and welcoming differences.
On a moral level, modern parenting understands that all families might look different, and that’s to be celebrated.
In practice, modern parenting walks a fine line between being strict and getting level. Modern parenting often recommends setting boundaries, but keeping an open line of communication in order to promote growth and learning.
A person practicing modern parenting will sometimes take the mistakes of the child with a grain of salt and will teach the importance of forgiveness.
Being a modern parent means being informed. It means trying to educate, trying to course-correct, and trying to loosen the reins.
If some of these ideals seem conflicting, you’re beginning to understand the complexities of modern parenting. It’s tricky. It’s not one size fits all. And it’s supposed to be tailored to each familial circumstance.
But at the end of the day, love, acceptance, empathy, and perseverance are the pillars of modern parenting.
What’s the Difference?
You might wonder, “what’s the difference between modern parenting techniques and conventional parenting techniques?” If you grew up in an environment that mimics modern parenting ideals, or if you always intended on parenting this way, it might be surprising to realize that not all households promote these values or practices.
Generally speaking, there are a few stereotypical styles of parenting that exist in recent history.
- Out of sight, out of mind parenting.
- Hands-off parenting.
- Helicopter parenting.
These are not scientific terms, obviously, but those general troupes are good ways to summarize certain parenting styles that are not considered “modern.”
For New Parents
If you’re a new parent and you are worried about doing right by your child, don’t worry. As modern parenting would suggest, pay attention to your child’s personality and try to stick with what works for your family.
It can sometimes feel like trial and error, but many parents find success by balancing setting boundaries and staying agile. You’ll find your balance in due time.
Taking time to prepare yourself for the ups and downs of parenting can set you up to react better in times of stress, misbehaviour, or conflict.
For Parents of a Teenager
If you are the parent of a teenager and you are discovering that what once worked as a parenting style is no longer useful, you’re not alone.
When children hit puberty, they go through a fundamental, hormonal adjustment. It might feel like you’re starting from scratch.
Try to practice active listening, and set boundaries until you can find a common ground. Most of all, don’t stress and lead with empathy. The teenage years can be a trying time.
Our Favorite Tips
Across the board, these are our favorite, simple tips for modern parenting.
Encourage critical thinking
A child that learns how to think critically will be much more prepared academically, socially, and realistically. A person that is taught to ask questions, check facts, form opinions, and can accept being corrected is a sign of emotional intelligence.
Teach personal growth
A child who understands that they can get better at something will be more apt for practicing self discipline. Likewise, a child who is taught that changing your mind when presented with new information is acceptable will learn a deep form of personal growth.
Introduce new foods
Without providing outside your means, finding fun and creative ways to introduce new foods is a great way to introduce appreciation for other cultures.
A child who is entrusted with responsibilities can quickly and naturally learn time management, discipline, and hard work. Granted, modern parenting will recommend letting go when things don’t get completed “on time” or “well enough” – it’s more the effort and consistency that counts.
Set rituals over rules
Rather than having a hard and fast rule about something like bedtime, establishing rituals that have positive connotations will help encourage a child to look forward to said event.
Modern parenting is not “loosey-goosey.” However, it does promote positive reinforcement. With patience, love, and consistency, positive reinforcement can help with self-esteem, and positive attachment style relationships.
For young children in particular, introducing reading can make a serious impact on their long term academic success. When encouraged, a love for learning can follow them the rest of their lives. Reading can also promote empathy, curiosity, and a greater perspective of the world.
Sometimes an abundance of choices can inhibit a child’s ability to make a decision. If there is a choice involved, provide two options and allow the child to select one.
Modern parenting takes time, patience, and consistency. Stay positive, and ask for help when necessary.