Even in parenting there are trends, be it buzz words or new philosophies that have arisen. Experts share with us their take on some of the latest trends.
What is it: This trend allows children to explore the world at their own pace. There is an emphasis on spending time
to do things together at a leisurely pace, instead of making children go through innumerable extracurricular activities. Tranquillity and slowing down are the key words.
What experts say: In a fast-paced, high-tech culture, we sometimes lose the “high touch” when it comes to parenting. Parents need to remember that they are not responsible for entertaining their children and filling their time. There is value in slowing down and having unstructured or unscheduled time for children. However, such times should not be used for unlimited screen time with the TV, computer games or gadgets. Instead, unstructured time for play should force children to use their imagination and learn to improvise.
- Child-led Parenting
What is it: Letting the child take the lead in what they want to do instead of making all the decision for them.
What experts say: In parenting, parents should always lead. However, the goal is not to control their children and make them do what they want. The goal is to give children a certain level of age-appropriate freedom, choices and consequences. If a child has free choice and responsibility for something but does not face the consequences of misusing his freedom, then he learns to be irresponsible and unloving in his actions. Conversely, if a child is held responsible for something but is not free to choose, she becomes like a “robot” and this may lead to compliance with resentment. Parents take the lead by giving the appropriate freedom and choices, followed by communicating and managing the consequences.
- iPad-sitting Parenting
What is it: A common phenomenon where parents use iPads to entertain children everywhere they go, be it in the car or at the dinner table.
What experts say:The iPad and other technological devices have certainly changed the world we live in. They do allow children to gain access to information and entertainment ‘on the go’. However, these devices are not a replacement for human interaction and contact. Consider this, when you greet your child after school or when you come home from work what would you prefer: Being greeted with a request for your phone, the iPad or when they can use the computer, or a greeting, a hug, a smile or a story about what they have been doing that day? Parents who overuse these devices as ‘babysitters’, need to consider what their intention is in any situation.
- Feel-good Parenting
What is it: For fear of possibly giving their children a low sense of self-esteem, parents are raising a generation of “everybody wins and nobody loses” mentality, praising even small accomplishments that their children make.
What experts say: Parents need to understand the difference in praising and over-praising their children. It is important to affirm and build a child’s confidence and self-esteem but the amount of praise must be appropriate. Over-praising can actually do more harm than good. If a child is praised all the time, he can become dependent on it and only function when praise is available. The truth is, in the real world, we win some and we lose some. An “everybody wins and nobody loses” mentality does not prepare a child for adulthood. Encourage children to try – they may not win, but they can be proud of the effort they put in. This also helps to build resilience in children.
- Resilience Building Parenting
What is it: Preparing children to be able to get straight back up after a setback or disappointment and exhibit traits of independence, problem-solving, optimism and social connection.
What experts say: It is important that resilience is developed in a child through supportive means and in stages and it can start very young from being able to cope when you lose a game. Parents need to be available when the child encounters a problem, to listen to them, encourage them and help them see what they can do to make the situation better. Resilience is not developed without support and understanding. We need to acknowledge their feelings of disappointment, sadness and frustration and encourage them to find ways of learning from the experience and then give them the positive encouragement.
Which parenting trend do you follow and use? Or do you have a different parenting style? Share your thoughts with us below.