Parenting 21st century style: Anne Robinson’s BBC programme on parenting made fascinating viewing. We’re all individuals so our parenting styles are going to be different with the same end in view: happy, healthy and safe children. This documentary certainly highlighted that there are a myriad of ways to achieve this goal.
From the naming of the Tiger Mum back in 2011 to the introduction of the Cat Dad and the Wolf Dad, parenting styles evolve as the mores of society change. What was acceptable in Victorian times (ice baths anyone?) simply wouldn’t work for a 1960s permissive parent!
Parenting for the 21st century can be a contentious subject among friends and between the parents themselves. With families spread across the country/world, it sometimes isn’t easy to have a quick chat with your own mum or dad.
With 128,532 books about parenting on Amazon, relying on family to guide you is just part of a 21st century parent’s armoury. The 348,000,000 entries for ‘how to be a better parent’ on a quick Google search shows that there’s no shortage of help online either. Here’s some figures from Mumsnet showing how much of a need there is for advice. “Mumsnet is now the UK’s biggest network for parents, with over 9.4 million unique visitors per month clocking up over 91 million page views.”
Do you read any of the parenting and family magazines available on the high street rather than go online? Is all this information a good thing or does it simply muddy the water? For me, I prefer to talk things through with my husband, do a sense check with myself and then reach out to friends to see how they’ve handled a similar situation. The current craze locally is for bottle flipping which can be really distracting. Thanks to a couple of Facebook posts on my personal feed, I quickly realised that everyone’s child was doing it and a couple of tactics to manage it. Sorted!
The Original Tiger Mum’s Children
The book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua showcased the whole Tiger Mum phenomenon. Her children were recently interviewed on their views five years on. The article by Tanith Carey (author of Taming the Tiger Parent: How To Put Your Child’s Wellbeing First In A Competitive World) asked them if they would raise their own children the same way. Both girls said yes, albeit with tweaks to make allowances for a child’s individuality.
What works for one child may not necessarily suit another and being sensitive to that is, in my opinion, the best way of parenting.