All too often, the media and other misinformed people want to reduce Modern Parenting to LAZY PARENTING; however, I argue that true MODERN PARENTS are people who care so much about the well-being of their kids that they go to EXTREME LENGTHS just to parent their kids in the best way possible.
In my opinion, modern parents:
- Educate themselves on the best parenting practices possible and integrate those new, modern techniques with the classic parenting tactics that have worked for them in the past,
- Prioritize their families over other responsibilities, commitments, and/or personal interests,
- Unselfishly put in the time, effort, and day-to-day commitment necessary to raise happy, competent kids who have a clear sense of their passions, values, and beliefs,
- Strive to continually improve upon themselves personally through taking care of their mental and physical health so that they can both model to their kids how to be a balanced, fulfilled adult, as well as to experience personal satisfaction and joy within their families.
Modern Parents expect MORE out of themselves; they want MORE for their kids; and they care LESS about “looking like” a good parent and actually being a good parent!
If you know (or have seen) parents who do seem lazy, selfish, and as if they don’t seem like they “get it,” those are not true Modern Parents. I would label those kinds of parents as “typical parents” – let’s face it, this type of parenting has been around for centuries!
Even during our parent’s generation, there were both competent parents and incompetent (typical) parents. Our generation, unfortunately, also contains incompetent parents; however, I also strongly believe that this current generation of Modern Parents is unique in the fact that they are willing to go to great links to educate themselves on the best parenting practices available and then PAINSTAKINGLY GO TO THE DAY-TO-DAY ARDUOUS EFFORT IN CARRYING OUT THEIR PARENTING PLAN.
To summarize the characteristics that comprise a true Modern Parent, I have created an ABC guide to quickly understand the qualities that go into a true Modern Parent.
The ABCs of Modern Parenting
A – Appreciate the ever-changing nature of parenting so that when their child progresses to a new developmental stage, or the family opens a new chapter in their family history, they will behave appropriately as the parent.
B – Balance their life commitments (i.e. work, hobbies, friends) with their family commitments so that they are truly present for both their family and their non-family activities.
C – Consistently provide instruction, discipline, praise, or appreciation for their child as the situation warrants – they do not avoid doing these things because they are tired, overwhelmed with other life commitments, or are finding it difficult to see the point in the moment.
D – Dig Deeper within themselves when the act of parenting during a difficult moment seems too difficult, thankless, or overwhelming. They might not realize it during an emotional situation with their child, but the long-term benefits of consistent, strategic parenting is invaluable to every child.
E – Encourage their child to be themselves. Our kids do not need to be a younger imitation of ourselves to be successful people. It does not make you a bad parent if your child is not exactly like you! Modern Parents guide their child into being who they were meant to be.
F – Forgive their child for their wrong-doing once the situation has been dealt with it between parent and child.
G – Generously give their child their time, patience, and (most importantly!) their love.
H – Have a support system in place. Smart Modern Parents surround themselves with friends and extended family members who are supportive of their parenting.
I – Include personal time for themselves that will enable them to grow, recharge, and to become a better person. Taking some personal time for yourself has two important benefits: 1) it models for your child how an adult balances life responsibilities with personal pleasure and 2) this time allows you as a parent to blow off some parenting steam and return to your family with a clear head and sound heart.
J – Just follow the parenting plan. It is hard to parent a child effectively during an emotional situation – that is why Modern Parents make a plan before their child misbehaves. This insures that they will parent appropriately during a high-stress situation.
K – Keep it simple – parenting does not have to be complicated to work.
L – Limit-setting is a key principle in Modern Parenting and one that needs to be updated every time a child enters into a new developmental phase. Modern Parents learn to adapt their limit-setting standards as their child shows that they can handle more responsibility on their own.
M – Model the behavior that they want from their child in their own day-to-day actions. Children learn best by observing what their parents DO rather than by what their parents SAY.
N – Nourish their child’s heart. Modern Parents listen when their child needs to talk. They hug their child when they need support. They are physically and mentally present when their child needs them. They show up when it matters.
O – Organize their non-family commitments (i.e. work, hobbies, friendships, etc.) in a way that prioritizes their family.
P – Passions, values, and beliefs – this is the Modern Parent’s “code of conduct” and these standards provide a guide for all Modern Parenting decisions. Do you need help creating your own family passions, values, and beliefs? Take a look HERE.
Q – Quick action – Modern Parents don’t let a situation with their child drag on without addressing it with their child. If your child misbehaves, then handle it right away. Don’t know how to handle the situation? Follow your pre-designed parenting plan (that takes into account your family passions, vales, and beliefs) as a guide.
R – Reexamine their parenting skills on an annual basis – what is working for them and their family and what is not? Where can they improve?
S – Strategize their discipline and include that in their parenting plan so that they know how they are going to handle specific problem situations with their child.
T – Take time out for personal reflection and setting goals for the family on a regular basis. Because family dynamics are constantly changing, Modern Parents will need to update their family goals on a yearly basis.
U – Understand that Modern Parenting takes TIME, is HARD WORK, and is often INCONVENIENT (i.e. kids get sick right before an important meeting or they want to have a heart-to heart talk with you when you are exhausted after a hard day) AND that it the most honorable and rewarding obligation Modern Parents will ever be called to do in their entire life.
V – Value the relationship they have with their child.
W – Wisdom – Modern Parenting requires wise decision-making using a parenting plan over rash, grandiose actions lecturing the child in front of other people just to “look like a good parent.”
X – eXpect changes to occur in the family OFTEN. Kids grow into new developmental stages (just as you have mastered the parenting skills needed during the previous one!), and family situations can change due to employment changes, new siblings entering the family, etc. Modern Parents don’t expect for life to always remain exactly the same; therefore, they are better able to handle the changes when they appear.
Y – Yield to new parenting habits that might seem unnatural at first. Many parents that I work with give up on using new (more beneficial) parenting skills because when they used these skills the first time, they felt “weird” doing them. New habits take practice and it is in practicing new skills and habits MANY TIMES OVER do we start to feel comfortable. Modern Parents don’t give up!
Z – Zero in on what’s important. Modern Parents understand that drama happens outside of the family, but it is not as important as what is going on with their child and/or your spouse/partner. Always take care of yourself, your child, and your spouse/partner first before attempting to get involved with other people’s problems.
Take Home Message
Do YOU identify with this ABC list? Then YOU ARE A MODERN PARENT and that is something that you should be proud of.
Want to strive to be a Modern Parent? Then you’ve come to the right place for parent education and support.