Current Parenting Trends
I think most parents will agree that the TV can be an enticing babysitter. With the channels dedicated to baby programs or “educational” shows, letting your child constantly watch TV may teach him or her something, but it can also damage your child. The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages exposure to TV, especially in children under two years old. Instead of setting your child in front of the TV, play a game, read a book, or take a walk. Social interaction is crucial to developing a well-rounded child.
“Helicopter parenting” is a slang term that describes a parent that hovers over a child, ready to fly in and save the day at the slightest issue. From fighting with teachers who have “offended” their child to making every choice and decision for their child, a helicopter parent can handicap their children later in life. Dr. Ken Haller, an associate professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, warns, “If a parent becomes so enmeshed in the child's life that they can't let go, it becomes embarrassing for the child,” according to a CNN article on helicopter parenting. Children need to learn to make their own decisions and fight their own battles. Loosen your grip on your children as they get older, teach them how to make their own choices, and then let them stumble without catching them before they hit the ground.
No More Spanking
“Spare the rod and spoil the child” was a phrase originally seen in literature in Samuel Butler’s poem “Hudibras”. The saying seems to come up as a defense for spanking children. While spanking children may have been a popular form of discipline in the past, it is losing its appeal among a newer generation of parents. Dr. Sears warns that spanking teaches your children that it is OK to hit, and promotes anger. Instead of spanking, try traditional time outs and redirection.
Child-led parenting is when the parent is in charge, but sensitive to the child’s need. For example, if your child doesn’t want to go to bed at an allotted time, you would allow your child to go to bed when he or she wants, no matter if it is earlier or later than the specified time. Mealtime is also another thing; your child would get to choose when to eat and what to eat. The main idea is that children are not machines and should be given the freedom to make their own choices. While this parenting technique may work well for some children, it can also present a situation where your child rules the home, instead of the other way around.