Being a parent is a tough gig, and there’s so much pressure put on mothers these days to “do it right.” From helicopter parenting to curveball parents, it seems everyone has an opinion of how you should be raising your child.
The good news is, according to research, parents today spend more time interacting with their children than they did back in the 1960s. This is surprising considering that era was the peak of stay-at-home-parenting.
And while mothers were at home with their kids during that period, they’re more hands-on today. Mothers today spend an average of five hours a week actively engaging with their children, while decades ago, that figure was closer to 45 minutes.
What can this be attributed to? Many would say that modern parenting has played a significant part in this. So what is modern parenting, and how do they do it?
What modern parenting is not?
Critics of modern parenting tend to see it as an excuse to be lazy, but this is far from the truth. It’s not about letting kids develop poor values and bad habits. It’s not about children growing up without parents being around. And it’s certainly not about letting the television or computers bring up children. These are all common misconceptions.
Modern parenting also doesn’t mean that you resent the way your parents brought you up (unless it was warranted). It simply means you’re open to trying new things.
So, what is modern parenting?
Modern parenting is a parenting style that emphasizes family-centered, evidence-based, and connection-based parenting solutions. Modern parents want to be proud of their family and confident in their parenting choices, and they don’t want to be told how to parent their children.
Essentially, the role of a modern parent is to ensure their child grows up to be happy and well-adjusted, and they’ll do just about anything to make that happen.
- Recognize that each family and every child is unique. As such, they’re not interested in following any general guidelines or rulebooks for how they should raise their child/ren.
- They want what’s best for their family, even if that means they do things differently from how their parents raised them. They’re keen to experiment with new strategies to ensure their children are happy and healthy.
- Make decisions based on science and proven data, rather than following the advice of others. They research parenting books and blog trends, look at learning resources, and make informed decisions.
- They have a close relationship with their child – they’re willing to spend more time communicating and listening, supporting them, helping them to problem-solve, and guiding them to make the right decisions.
How to be a successful modern parent?
Modern parents get a bad rap, but you can break the myth. Here are some of the things you can do with your modern parenting that will not only achieve the goals for your children but also for yourself:
Adjust your parenting style: Research has found that children listen, respect, and trust you more if you are authoritative, not authoritarian. Don’t hover, but always be supportive. Be firm but also loving. You could also consider taking a positive parenting course to develop specific skills that will enable you to care for your family better.
Take sleep seriously: From putting your baby to sleep to bedtime for children, establishing regular bedtime routines and consistent sleep patterns will help them thrive in the daytime. If you want them to choose their bedtimes, you risk inadequate sleep, which won’t be suitable for anyone.
Encourage a flexible approach to learning: More than ever, educators are recognizing that each child is unique in the way that they learn. It’s essential to your child’s optimal development that they be exposed to a variety of learning styles, such as auditory, kinesthetic, etc., but also be sure to involve them in music. Whether you have a piano at home, drum kits, or any other instrument, involving children in music early on is excellent for their development.
Allow them food options, but don’t take it too far: If you’re cooking three different meals at dinner time to cater to fussy kids, stop. You want to teach them good eating habits, ensuring they get the proper nutrients. Tell them about eating the rainbow colors and let them shop at the markets with you, choosing their treats.
Don’t leave out discipline altogether: Many modern parents believe discipline is a complete no-no, but that’s simply not the case. It’s essential that your child learns the difference between right and wrong – and understands there are consequences for bad behavior.
Find balance: Modern parents aim to spend as much quality time with their children as possible, but with work commitments, sports and schooling, it’s impossible to always be there. That’s why finding the right balance is essential. Set aside time together daily, sit down and listen to what they say.
Essentially, when it comes to parenting, no one has any clue what’s right and wrong. As long as you’re doing the best you can for your children and being the best parent, you can be – that’s all that matters. If your child grows up to be happy and respectful, you are doing parenting right.