Like any other part of culture, parenting styles flow and change in accordance with trends. Some parenting choices in the past are now seen as outdated while others are making a comeback. How much do current trends influence your parenting style? Are there new or traditional methods that you want to try? Check out these 15 popular parenting options to inspire your own family life.

Slashing Sugar

Homemade Raspberry Vanilla Popsicles 

Homemade Raspberry Vanilla Popsicles 

Most parents know that sugar is a part of childhood that makes kids happy in the moment but has the potential to bring big problems in the long run.

From tooth decay to hyperactivity to decreased immunity, parents are recognizing the possible dangers  and doing what they can to cut back on sugar.

One strategy for lowering sugar consumption in kids is to make tasty treats at home. Trendy parents are making homemade popsicles out of juice with no sugar added, and substituting fresh fruit for more traditional desserts.

Woodsy Décor

Baby's room. Bed, Tent, Mountains.

Baby's room. Bed, Tent, Mountains.

How are trendy parents decorating their children's rooms? Bright patterns and storybook characters are a thing of the past. Parents today are choosing a woodsy theme for kids' rooms.

To follow this trend, buy furniture that looks like natural wood. Paint walls in natural greens and blues, and even throw in a tree mural for artistic flair. Accents like stuffed bears and foxes make this look complete.

Halting the Helicopter

Hovering over your kids is no longer considered the right choice by many of the today's parents. Instead, moms and dads are incorporating a more free-range style when it comes to supervising their children.

Parents aren't giving up the reins all together, but they are recognizing the need for kids to try things on their own and learn how to fail. The thought behind the trend is that children whose parents make everything easy aren't able to effectively handle themselves as they grow up. This current style celebrates the advantages of backing off and letting children make and manage their own mistakes.

Hiring a Manny

Maybe you need a full-time caregiver to act in a parenting role while you are working, or maybe you're just looking for a summer or after-school babysitter. Either way, you might want to consider a male caregiver for your kids.

A "manny," a contemporary term that means male nanny, can offer you a different experience that may be an advantage to your kids. Parents of boys are particularly interested in hiring a positive male role model to help raise their children, and all parents are realizing that guys can be nurturing too.

Unplugged Fun

Modern parents can become concerned that their kids are spending too much time with technology. Video games and handheld devices can be entertaining, and even provide certain benefits, but many parents are encouraging kids to spend time on toys that don't need to be charged.

One great way to take advantage of this trend is to start a regular family game night. Gather your kids around the kitchen table and play classic board games. You get a chance to bond with your children and they get a break from screen time.

Tracking Tots

While they might be encouraging kids to unplug, some parents are turning to technology to help them manage their families.

Did you know that you can buy a GPS device that will tell you where you child is at any given time? Kids wear the devices on their wrists or attached to their clothing, allowing parents to know exactly where they are.

Many parents are finding this a stress-reducing way of allowing their kids to have more freedom. Wearing one of these devices allows parents to let kids explore a larger environment without compromising safety.

Hitting the Road

Remember hours spent with your siblings in the back seat of the car while you drive to visit family or tour another town? Family road trips are back, and modern parents are jumping on the bandwagon.

Following this trend means lots of parental preparation. Before your trip, pack each child a bag with car-friendly snacks, games and activities. Also keep a list of travel games your family can play together, such as searching for the letters of the alphabet on billboards or looking for license plates from as many states as possible.

Bilingual Babies

Parents know that the best time for anyone to learn a second language is when they're as young as possible. This has led to a huge increase in computer software and video programs designed to teach your little one an additional language.

The most popular language to teach your tot is Spanish because it is predicted to be the most useful language for furthering careers and working with other cultures. If you have the means, hiring a babysitter who will speak to your child in a different language is a great way to give your kid this advantage.

Family Camping

Family Camp Fire

Family Camp Fire

Vacations are expensive, and flying can be stressful. Today's parents are taking a simpler approach to getting away, by taking the kids on a camping trip.

If you plan to make camping the main focus of your future travels, consider investing in trailer or RV. For occasional trips, rent a cabin or set up a tent. You can then seek out a space at a campground with fun family activities, or lose yourself in the woods.

Going Gender Neutral

Many parents believe that gender should not be the defining characteristic of a child's identity. They are choosing to minimize the importance of gender by picking names that fit a girl or boy, and by providing toys and activities that are not specifically marketed to one gender or the other.

Some parents are even attempting to ignore a child's gender as much as possible, not referring to the child as he or she, and dressing the child in completely gender-neutral clothing.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has changed the world of video games, and many families are enjoying this new technology together. Either purchase your own virtual reality system or try it out at another location for a fun activity you can share with your kids.

Essential Oils

Managing kids' emotions can be a difficult task. Some parents are turning to essential oils to help with this process. Parents are dilating a few drops of lavender, tea tree, chamomile or other oil in a carrier like witch hazel or coconut oil. This mixture is then applied to the child's feet. Another way of using essential oils is to diffuse them into the air.

Some essential oils are not approved for use on children. Consult your pediatrician before you start.

Healthier Restaurant Meals

With childhood obesity becoming a significant problem, parents are fighting back when it comes to children's meals at restaurants. A traditional menu for kids involves as assortment of deep-fried, breaded foods or options like pizza and macaroni and cheese. Today's parents are now demanding that restaurants include items like grilled chicken or fish with vegetables. 

Fairy Gardens

Fairy Garden with a house made of mushroom

Fairy Garden with a house made of mushroom

Bring a bit of whimsy into your time with the family by creating a fairy garden. This is a great creative outdoor activity that parents and kids can enjoy together.

You can buy fairy houses and other tiny accessories for your own private fairyland, or you can make them yourself. You and your kids will have a wonderful time crafting little furniture and houses for the fairies in your yard.

Minimalism

Do your kids simply have too much? Some parents have realized that their kids have more toys than they could ever play with and not enough free time to play with them anyway. They are significantly cutting back on, or replacing, material possessions and scheduled activities in their children's lives with free time and unscheduled fun.

Some of these trends are old-fashioned ideas that are being re-imagined by modern parents, and some are brand-new views. You can evaluate and then adapt these popular parenting strategies to create an approach that is just right for your family.


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