2024 top trending parenting styles

by Ally Cohen
Parenting styles. Parenting trends Delve into the world of parenting with a captivating and illuminating image. Showcase the different parenting styles, from nurturing and supportive to strict and disciplinarian, highlighting their impact on children's growth and behaviour.
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Parenting in the 21st century is a dynamic and multifaceted experience, shaped by cultural shifts, technological advancements, and societal expectations. What are the latest 2024 trends in parenting?

In today’s digitally interconnected world of TikTok, Twitter (now X), and Instagram, the realm of parenting appears to be in a perpetual state of evolution. In 2024, the journey of parenthood is accompanied by an ever-expanding array of influences, opinions, and trends. 

It’s easy to feel inundated by the sheer diversity of parenting styles. However, amidst this cacophony of opinions, several distinct parenting trends have emerged: 

1. New age parenting: embracing cultural diversity & innovation

In the top spot as the most trending parenting style for 2023 is “new age parenting.” This approach encourages caregivers to embrace diverse cultures and innovative parenting styles.  It focuses on fostering a nurturing and supportive environment for children to thrive emotionally, intellectually, and socially. 

Initiatives like The Parent Test underscore the importance of cultivating a friendship-based relationship with children, rather than resorting to a dictatorial or authoritarian stance.

2. Elephant parenting: prioritising nurturing & protection

“Elephant parenting” is a term coined to describe a style of parenting that involves being highly protective and nurturing towards children while also providing them with the space and freedom to learn from their own experiences. In contrast to the rigid “tiger parenting” philosophy, elephant parenting advocates for nurturing and safeguarding children, particularly during their formative years.

 Dr. Robyn Silverman emphasises the significance of prioritising emotional nurturing over academic or athletic achievements, reflecting a shift towards holistic child-rearing practices.

3. Soft parenting: balancing empathy & discipline

Resonating with the ethos of “Gentle Parenting,” the concept of soft parenting revolves around cultivating a supportive and emotionally connected environment for children. “Soft parenting” is a parenting style characterised by a gentle and permissive approach towards raising children. 

It prioritises warmth, empathy, and flexibility over strict rules and discipline. It strikes a delicate balance between offering empathy and enforcing discipline, encouraging parents to adopt a nurturing yet firm approach to upbringing.

4. Active parenting: proactively engaging in child-rearing

Active parenting entails a proactive and engaged approach to child-rearing, characterised by consistent communication, positive discipline, and the establishment of clear expectations.  It involves being present, involved, and responsive to a child’s needs, interests, and activities. This style underscores the importance of parental involvement in a child’s life, education, and overall development.

5. Helicopter parenting: finding a balance between protection & independence

A familiar term in contemporary parenting discourse, helicopter parenting refers to the tendency of parents to excessively monitor and oversee their children’s activities. Helicopter parenting is a style of parenting characterised by excessive involvement and overprotection of children. 

It involves hovering over every aspect of a child’s life, often to an extreme degree.  From micromanaging daily routines to closely scrutinising decision-making processes, helicopter parents often hover over their children’s lives with an overprotective zeal.

Parenting styles. Examine the array of parenting approaches with a compelling and insightful image. Illustrate the contrasting parenting styles, from hands-on and involved to hands-off and distant, capturing the dynamics and relationships within families.

6. Natural parenting: honouring biological rhythms & emotional needs

Natural parenting, also known as attachment parenting or instinctive parenting, is an approach that prioritises forming strong emotional bonds between parents and children, and advocates for parenting practices that align with a more natural and instinctive way of raising children. 

Natural parenting advocates for a holistic approach to child-rearing, prioritising practices aligned with a child’s innate developmental trajectory. From breastfeeding to fostering emotional bonds, natural parenting seeks to honour the biological rhythms and emotional needs of children.

7. Free-range parenting: fostering independence & self-reliance

Free-range parenting is an approach to parenting that emphasises giving children greater independence and autonomy to explore and learn from the world around them. Reflecting a commitment to fostering independence and self-reliance, free-range parenting encourages age-appropriate autonomy among children. 

It promotes the notion of letting children explore their surroundings freely and make decisions within safe boundaries, nurturing resilience and resourcefulness as well as develop important life skills through hands-on experiences. 

8. Concerted cultivation: equipping children with diverse experiences

Concerted cultivation is a parenting style that focuses on actively fostering a child’s talents, skills, and personal development through structured activities and educational opportunities.  Coined by sociologist Annette Lareau, concerted cultivation involves actively fostering a child’s talents and skills through structured activities, schedules, and direct intervention.

 This approach is characterised by parents’ deliberate efforts to provide their children with a wide range of experiences and resources to support their academic, social, and extracurricular pursuits. 

9. Authoritarian parenting: balancing discipline & autonomy

Exemplifying a more traditional and rigid parenting style, authoritarian parenting is characterised by strict rules, swift punishments, and limited autonomy for children. Parents maintain tight control over their children’s behaviour and often enforce rules with little room for negotiation or explanation. 

While this approach may instil discipline, it also restricts individual expression and decision-making, prompting critical reflections on its efficacy in modern parenting contexts.

10. Routine parenting: establishing structure & predictability

Foundational to many parenting styles is the establishment of routines that encompass daily tasks and responsibilities essential for a child’s well-being and development. Routine parenting is an approach to raising children that prioritises establishing and maintaining consistent daily routines and schedules. 

Whether it’s bedtime rituals or mealtime schedules, routines provide structure and predictability, contributing to a sense of security for children.

It’s essential for caregivers to recognise that few adhere exclusively to one approach. Instead, the most effective parenting strategies often involve a blend of various styles tailored to the unique needs of each child and family dynamic. As parents, let’s explore the possibilities of crafting a parenting style that resonates authentically with our values and aspirations.

Other trending parenting styles…

1. Cowboy names

When it comes to baby naming, parents are exploring cowboy-inspired names. These rugged and adventurous monikers evoke a sense of wild spirit and individuality. So, saddle up and consider names like Wyatt, Colt, or Cassidy for your little wrangler! 

2. Gentle-ish Parenting

While gentle parenting has been popular, there’s a shift towards a more balanced approach. Parents are embracing a gentle-ish style that combines empathy and understanding with setting clear boundaries. It acknowledges that sometimes firmness is necessary for a child’s well-being. Finding that sweet spot between tenderness and structure is key.

3. Sharenting

The practice of sharenting—sharing every detail of a child’s life on social media—is still prevalent. However, parents are becoming more mindful of privacy concerns and the long-term impact on their children. Strike a balance between capturing precious moments and respecting your child’s privacy.

4. Promoting Understanding and Healing

Families are increasingly discussing estrangement—the emotional distance between family members. Open conversations help address this complex issue and promote healing. Acknowledging estrangement rather than sweeping it under the rug fosters understanding and empathy.

5. Embracing Authentic Connections

In a departure from elaborate hosting, parents are embracing a more relaxed approach. Scruffy hospitality involves inviting friends and family over without worrying about perfection. It’s about genuine connections rather than impressing guests. So, kick off your shoes, serve some snacks, and enjoy the messy beauty of real moments.

Remember, parenting trends come and go, but what matters most is finding an approach that resonates with your family’s values and supports your child’s growth and well-being. 

Also read: From tiger to free-range parents – what research says about pros and cons of popular parenting styles

And also: The different parenting styles & what yours says about you

Sources:

  1. Today – Top Parenting Trends Of 2024
  2. Today – Bing Search Results for Parenting Trends 2024
  3. What to Expect – 6 Parenting Trends You’ll See in 2024
What’s your parenting style? Tell us in comments

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