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Parenting has undergone substantial transformations since the era of Baby Boomers, frequently leaving many of them bewildered by the changes. With the rise of tech-savvy moms and the widespread adoption of gender-neutral parenting, contemporary parents are embracing novel and distinctive approaches to raising children.
Here are a few modern parenting styles that have the Boomer generation scratching their heads.
1. Sleep Training
Sleep practices have totally changed over the decades. Take, for example, new parents dealing with the exhaustion of parenting: they teach their babies to self-soothe and sleep independently gently. Plus, they have lots of accessories and gadgets like sleep sacks and baby monitors to keep their little ones safe while sleeping.
Thus, it’s no wonder that all these can be puzzling for grandparents who are used to the old-school way of putting their babies to sleep (most often the cry-it-out method).
2. Gender-Neutral Parenting
Gender-neutral parenting is about tossing aside those outdated approaches of what girls and boys should be like. Many modern parents believe in this concept to encourage their kids to express themselves and explore the world without the constraints of traditional gender roles. For example, they let their kids wear whatever clothes they want, regardless of whether they’re made for boys or girls.
Unfortunately, understanding and accepting this parenting style is highly challenging for the older generations.
3. Unusual Names
Nowadays, many parents choose unique or weird names such as Ioni, Kapua, or Mordecai for their babies, which can leave their Boomer parents bewildered.
But let’s admit that after growing up being surrounded by Roberts, Kates, and Charlies, it’s hard to accept those unusual baby names they’ve never heard of before or probably can’t even pronounce correctly!
4. Tech-Savvy Parenting
Living in a digital world, modern parents learned how to use technology in their favor when it comes to parenting. These tech-savvy moms and dads use numerous different digital tools like tablets and indoor cameras to educate, entertain, and keep their kids safe. Moreover, they teach their children digital literacy and help them use technology responsibly.
While most grandparents admit that technology makes parenting much easier, they still can’t wrap their heads around how much the world has changed since raising their kids.
5. Postpartum Health
In the past, people focused on the mother’s health mainly during the pregnancy, often neglecting her well-being after giving birth. With the growing trend of prioritizing postpartum health, new moms can enhance their mental and physical health after birth.
Most likely, many mothers from previous generations wish they had access to the postpartum yoga classes, perineal therapy sessions, and support groups that are available for new mothers today.
6. Gender Reveal Parties
Gender reveal parties have blown up big time in the last few years. During these parties, couples announce the gender of their baby with pink or blue balloons, cake fillings, or glitter cannons. Then, most of them post stunning photos and videos about the event all over social media to share the big news with the world.
Boomer parents don’t quite get what these parties are good for, especially because in their time, most often, the gender of the baby remained unknown until birth.
7. Eco-Friendly/Green Parenting
Boomers are certainly familiar with the concept of reusable nappies. But what might be surprising for them is that eco-friendly parenting takes sustainability even further than that. From reusable wipes to eco-friendly baby products and DIY washing detergents, these parents have their focus on using eco-friendly, reusable materials.
8. Single Parenting by Choice
Thanks to the shifting social norms, advancements in reproductive technology, and simplified adoption processes, more and more people are able to choose to become parents without a partner. Since most individuals from the Boomer generation favor traditional family structures, they have a hard time understanding why anyone would want to become a single parent voluntarily.
9. Celebrating Everything
In the past, kids believed in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and a couple of other magical characters that made their childhood special. But if we fast forward to today, we can see that Millennial parents took this entire thing to a whole new level: children now have Elf on the Shelf, fancy birthday parties, plus a bunch of other occasions to celebrate.
Of course, some Boomer grandparents find this excessive. But others love that they have even more excuses to spoil their grandchildren.
Do you know those parents who share everything about their children on social media? From pregnancy announcements to the baby’s first steps and birthday parties, they literally grab every occasion to post some Instagrammable pictures. Needless to say, this oversharing is many Boomers’ biggest nightmare!
Millennials feel they need to label everything. It’s not enough that they’re parents; they need to define their parenting style. Are they eco-friendly parents? Gentle parents? Mindful parents? Or maybe single parents? The older generations agree that Millennials tend to overthink parenting. There is no need to use confusing labels to tell what kind of parents they are.
12. Online Parenting Tips and Support
Boomers used to rely solely on family, friends, and neighbors regarding parenting tips and support. But now, Millennials have tons of other options. For example, they can just hit up Google real quick, ask for advice in a parenting group on Facebook, or dive into a few parenting forums for some help. Honestly, the older generations found this kind of weird when it first started happening, but over time, they’ve come to see the incredible benefits of the internet for parenting.
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