10 Modern Parenting Trends That Online Users Consider to Be Questionable

When it comes to such a delicate subject as parenting, arguments among adults with different views can get very heated. It’s not only the outdated methods that are criticized, but also some of the modern trends. And those whose arguments are based on their own knowledge or personal experience can be quite convincing when encouraging people not to follow some of these “innovations.”

You shouldn’t expect children to be positive all the time

  • Denying your kid any negative experiences or emotions. They are a normal part of being a person, teach them to handle negative emotions now before you send them out into a world they are not prepared to handle. © IAmRules / Reddit
  • Validating emotions! Adults are allowed to have emotional outbursts, so why can’t children? They need to be guided and learn how to regulate that anger and frustration. It’s not all smiles and laughs every day. © WIPsandskeins / Reddit

False “gentle parenting” is of no benefit to anyone

  • You hear and see so many parents letting their children do whatever they want, no matter how destructive, rude, or hurtful their behaviors are. Parents find themselves beholden to the whims of their children’s emotions in the name of gentle parenting. © canadainuk / Reddit
  • In actual gentle parenting/authoritative parenting, you acknowledge their emotions, you’re nurturing, supportive, and responsive, but you communicate the firm boundaries you set for the child clearly and stick to them. “No” isn’t a bad word. They need to know what it means and they need to know how to react appropriately to it. © probablyMel / Reddit
  • Gentle parenting is saying “you can have your emotions. Being upset is completely normal, but you can’t be mean to others because of those emotions.” Not letting a child scream and throw toys at you and only saying “please don’t do that” for 10 minutes. Oh and telling you that giving time outs is “abuse”, and you shouldn’t “force” your child eat food that they don’t like. I don’t like vegetables but I still eat them bc my body needs the nutrients to function properly. © Western_Avocado9027 / Reddit

“Bulldozer” parents do more harm than good

  • The parent who removes all obstacles/challenges from a child’s life so they don’t learn about perseverance, problem solving, failure (sometimes you can try hard and still not get the reward), and learning from mistakes — unless the goal is to develop a highly anxious person — then, being a bulldozer parent is great. © spinefexmouse / Reddit
  • Parents who jump in to put together the kids Lego’s or show them how to do their homework or fix their social problems are all ways to severely limit a child by stifling creativity, imagination, and perseverance. By all means, step in to guide when required, but otherwise let your kid work to come up with their own solutions. It’s a skill that will carry them in the future. © jerseygirl1105 / Reddit

Psychologists argue that children raised by bulldozer parents develop low self-efficacy as they grow up, because they don’t believe in their own ability to cope with obstacles. Instead of fixing problems for your child, you should encourage them when they face difficulties.

You can’t always believe your child over their teacher

  • “My kid never lies to me.” Seriously. Parents absolutely should be their kid’s biggest supporter. But support sometimes means holding the kid responsible when they don’t do the right thing. © jdith123 / Reddit
  • I have a friend who literally works her kids up against the teacher, in situations where any rational adult would be pointing out the teacher’s point of view. © Ninotchk / Reddit

Helicopter parenting prevents children from becoming independent

  • Kids need freedom to explore the world, get dirty, engage in free play. I am not advocating putting the child outside on a Saturday morning and telling them to come home when the street lights come on, but an age-acceptable level of freedom. © Cat_Astrophe_X / Reddit
  • Always buzzing around your adult or nearly adult children trying to make everything right all the time. I know executives who have told me parents have contacted them before their son or daughter’s interview to try to convince them to hire their child. These people will never fully allow their kids to become adults and experience life. © TinktheChi / Reddit

The term “helicopter parent” originated at the end of the last century and describes a parenting style in which the parent hovers, like a helicopter, over the entire life of their child. They’re overprotective and controlling at every step, especially with regard to social interaction and learning. This compulsive parenting style is detrimental to a child’s development, prevents them from developing leadership skills, leads to emotional problems, and, paradoxically, learning difficulties.

In public places, kids should follow general rules of conduct

  • Letting you kids run amok everywhere and then being furious when other people are annoyed. I’m an older mom. I was raised with the idea that you have a social contract with others to not be an annoyance. I don’t let my kids go nuts in public. When they are having a hard time, we leave. I don’t expect them to be angels for hours in adult situations, but being told to not be loud and crazy at the grocery or in line somewhere is not child abuse. Letting you kids be a hellion that everyone else cringes to see is so unfair to your kids. © beckybrothers / Reddit

Long periods of time in public places — cafés, museums and even shops — are tiring for kids. When making plans, parents should keep in mind that children’s self-control skills are not yet sufficiently developed. But not taking the child with you anywhere is not an option either, as then they won’t have the opportunity to learn how to behave properly. Experts recommend that you start with “practice” trips and then, after a while, you won’t have any problems.

Parents who try to be their kids’ friends don’t actually raise them

  • “My son/daughter is my best friend.” No, they aren’t. They have their own friends and have the agency to choose them for themselves. Over the course of a lifetime, they will have several “best friends” but they will only have one father and mother. Your job is to be a parent. You can’t do that properly if you are trying to be a friend. © Ducra / Reddit
  • Parents being their child’s best friend, rather than their parents. I’m all for positive, strong, loving relationships between child and parent, but when you refuse to say no to your kid because you’re worried about whether they’ll “like” you less, that’s just toxic and unhealthy. I had a “friend” in high school who’s best friend in the whole world was her mum, which she regularly reminded us about. It was such a strange, toxic relationship between them both, and now she’s grown up to be the selfish, most entitled brat © chloe220696 / Reddit

Most experts agree that while parents should be friendly with their kids, they still need to act as parents and not as friends. A child needs boundaries, rules, and guidelines. A best friend won’t tell them when to go to bed, keep track of what they eat, when they’ve been to the doctor, advise them on what to do in difficult situations — this is the responsibility of moms and dads, and children need us in these roles.

Publicising children’s private lives on social media is a trend that needs to stop

  • Family Vloggers/YouTubers. Looking back, I’m so thankful that I had an analog childhood! Not only are these kids being introduced to social media at essentially their infancy, the parents are so messed up and care more about internet fame than making the best decisions for their children. I can’t imagine having so much of my private life available for public consumption at such a young age. © littleprettypaws / Reddit
  • My mom went off on a family friend recently who complained on Facebook that her daughter was “ruining” her life because she wouldn’t pose for pictures anymore. When someone commented asking why she wouldn’t pose for pictures anymore, she responded, “My daughter said she doesn’t want me posting the pictures on Facebook. And I say I won’t but I do it anyway because she’s so cute! Everyone needs to see it!” My mom replied, “Your daughter set a boundary, you violated that boundary. Good parents don’t do that.” © Johannes_Chimp / Reddit

Trying to occupy all of children’s free time with useful activities isn’t healthy

  • Adding to the helicopter parenting that’s been mentioned already, scheduling the child’s entire life leaving them with practically no free time as they always scheduled to do an extracurricular or something. This also leads to the whole life of the family revolving around the child and their schedule which is also unhealthy in my opinion. © theredditer91 / Reddit
  • “Busy bee trend.” Parents that keep the children busy all the time in extra curricular activities. Instead of finding 1 thing the child is good at and enjoying, the poor child is signed up for: swimming lessons, takes piano, chess club, football, art , tennis and so on. The child is 5... he wants to play with rocks in the river and tell you what is his favorite dinosaur. © Whylikethat_5505 / Reddit·

Over-entertaining children with gadgets can hinder their development

  • I think healthy relationships with tech is super important, but it’s important to emphasize the healthy. So many parents just give their kid an iPad or something because it’s easier to keep them occupied that way and while occasionally it’s ok, it’s bad if it’s constant. I know someone who was raised as an ’iPad kid’ and now, at 18, she says she her family all watch something on their phones instead of talk at dinner. She doesn’t like it but it’s what she’s used to. © qquackie / Reddit
  • My daughter had a friend over for a sleepover last weekend. They’re in 4th and 5th grade. She brought her phone and iPad. Couldn’t sit long enough to play board games, with toys, or outside. Had unlimited attention on her screens. Couldn’t go to sleep without her iPad playing YouTube videos. My kid wanted to play, do crafts, color, etc. It was like this kid didn’t even know how to do those things. © hollieollieoxenfreee / Reddit

WHO and American Academy of Paediatrics recommend that children under two years old should not be allowed to use gadgets and watch videos, and kids under five should be limited to one hour a day of screen time, with an emphasis on educational programmes. And it’s no coincidence that signing up for most social networks is restricted to 13 years of age. In today’s world, it’s difficult to raise a child outside of social media and digital content, but every parent should approach this wisely.

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