I’ve come across some new approaches to parenting in this woke era. There will always be new insights with the changing of the times— and so, parenting styles adapt as well. I wonder if you’ll find yourself aligned with these modern parenting trends.
What we can learn: teaching freedom and responsibility develops self-esteem
This parenting style started around the late 90s, and draws its main values and theories from the newly accepted scientific branch of psychology. This style is called “positive psychology”, also called “happiness psychology”.
Positive Parenting is about empowering children through unconditional support. We consistently support our children’s interests, and help them discover their potential by guiding or coaching rather than teaching and spoon-feeding. This fuels their self-esteem and prepares them to get the most or the best out of themselves and out of life.
My older daughter showed an interest in ballet after watching a Barbie movie. I took her to a trial ballet lesson, and despite being only four years old and the youngest in the Beginners Class, she was the most attentive. She continued to dance ballet for eight years with only slight prodding from me.
Positive Parenting allows children to grow by making their own decisions and learning that actions have consequences. For example, my daughter eventually decided to stop ballet to pursue other interests like hip hop and theater. Instead of forcing my own opinions or interests, I need to respect the process and the journey of self-
What we can learn: our relationship with our kids affects how they see themselves and the world
The Attachment Parenting movement started in the 1950s as a reaction to the “traditional” family structure. Then, parents were encouraged to be strict and even distant. Discipline was based on fear and punishment, and kids were raised to be “seen and not heard.”
However, British psychiatrist John Bowlby said that a positive and warm parent-child relationship (which he termed “attachment”) was important for healthy emotional growth. This was built by consistently responding to a child’s emotional cues. We pick up a baby when he cries, comfort a toddler when he’s scared, and provide support and encouragement as he navigates school and then adulthood. In attachment parenting, bonding isn’t a special family activity; it is a relationship that proves “you understand and care about me.”
I am heartened that my children share their feelings including fears and failures with me, and that I can tell if they had a good day or are up to something. Attachment parenting teaches us that this very simple connection is the best gift we can give our child. When a child feels secure, he is more able to trust himself – the psychological foundation of setting goals, taking risks, and succeeding as an adult.
Spiritual or Holistic Parenting
What we can learn: Teach children self-awareness
This parenting style has its roots in eastern spiritual philosophy, which focuses on raising inner awareness and being deeply connected with the present. Key word: being. Spiritual Parenting is all about respecting each child’s individuality and appreciating them for who they are. It gives them space to develop their own beliefs based on their unique personalities and potential, and encourage them to live for the moment and accept the journey.
Since I have two daughters, I find this to be relevant. Indeed, my girls are unique from each other, and need their own time and space to figure things out on their own because they experience the world differently even if they live under one roof.
Spiritual teacher and doctor Deepak Chopra says this is best achieved by example. So to raise highly aware and conscious children, simply be what you want your children to be. Be a role model! I acknowledge that I am a work in progress. By owning up to that, I hope my children will embrace that they are too!
Slow Parenting / Nurturant Parenting
What we can learn: Overscheduling and overstimulation can cause child stress
This parenting style is a reaction to the rat race mentality, and how hyperparenting (too many activities, classes, educational toys) can suffocate and stress out our children.
Carl Honore is the inspiration behind this parenting philosophy. He clarifies that “slow” doesn't mean doing things at a snail’s pace, but rather, doing everything at the right speed. Children should explore the world at their own pace. It values quality of activities and experiences over quantity.
Slow Parenting strategies include making sure there is enough time for family members to do what is needed, whether it’s together or alone. It encourages less organized activities, and free time where children can play and explore. It also believes that simple experiences (such as running outside, playing with pots and pans) can spark imagination and creativity.
This parenting style can be a timely reminder as we raise the digital generation. Thanks to the Internet, children have constant access to information and entertainment. I try to minimize my kids’ screen and gadget time. Even we, as parents, need to slow things down and go offline every now and then.
There are many ways to be a good parent
We all have our own parenting style, and our reasons for doing it. Let’s listen and learn from each other without judgment. Share your story and what works for you in the comments section!
About The Writer
Issa Litton is a mom of 2 girls, 14yo & 9yo. She is an emcee/host for mostly corporate & lifestyle events; an actress, teacher, assistant director and producer; the President of 1Lit Corp, which manages & trains hosts and provides workshops for public speaking & communication skills. She is also the co-organizer of the Chicdriven Women Empowerment Series.