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The Definition of Modern Parenting

What Exactly IS Modern Parenting?

As a modern parent and parenting expert, I get asked this question all the time.

Before we dive into the definition, I should probably tell you a little bit about how I became a expert so that you understand how I developed my definition of “Modern Parenting”.

I became interested in the topic 10 years ago when my husband of 14 years came out as a gay man, talk about a shocker! I didn’t see this one coming at all! It was definitely a lesson that if someone wants to hide something about themselves, they can become really good at it – until they just can’t push that secret down any longer.

We eventually divorced, but all I could think about was how this was going to affect our 2 kids. My son was 10 and my daughter was 7 at the time (they are 20 and 17 as of this writing). I was determined to figure out a way for our little non-traditional modern family to be a place where our children felt loved, encouraged, and were also raised with good values and morals.

As a clinical psychologist, I dove into psychological research and used studies, evidence-based strategies, and statistics as my guide when making parenting decisions. Flash forward a decade later, and I must have done something right, because not only do my ex-husband and I have great kids, but I get compliments all the time on the techniques I use when parenting my kids.

So, back to that definition. In order to understand my framework for parenting, we should first review the fallacies of modern parenting – because there are so many out there!


What Modern Parenting Isn’t


When I mention that I am a modern parenting expert, some people jump to some very wrong conclusions about what this means. So let’s clear the air.


It Isn’t an Excuse for Bad Parenting

Some people jump to the conclusion that modern parenting is allowing their kids to live without rules, expectations, or values of any kind. The stereotype of the kids setting the tone of the household and getting away with everything is often the knee-jerk image for some people.


It Isn’t an Excuse for Lazy Parenting

One time after I introduced myself at a meeting, a loud and opinionated member said he knew exactly what modern parenting was. “It’s parenting by TV!” he said. Not correct at all.


It Isn’t (Necessarily ) Disagreeing with How Your Parents Raised You

Unless your parents were abusive, distant, or neglectful, they probably got a few things right. I think most people will acknowledge that they wouldn’t parent EXACTLY like their parents, but there are still a few strategies and techniques that you’re probably using that you learned from your parents.


It Isn’t Complicated

Modern parenting isn’t characterized by being constantly busy, always striving to be “social media perfect,” or always wanting more. There are some families like like this, but they don’t fit my definition of a Modern Parent.

So now that I have dispelled the stereotypes of the Modern Parent, let’s dive into what really characterizes the definition of the Modern parent.


The Definition of the Modern Parent


Today’s modern parent has evolved in several important ways from the previous generation of parent.

Modern Parents Acknowledge That Every Family Is Unique

Today’s parents are comfortable discovering what makes each family uniquely special. They don’t want to follow a “parenting script” to look and act just like every other family on the block. By interacting with so many families over the years, I’ve found that families really enjoy being different and unique.


Modern Parents Are Comfortable Doing What Works and Ignoring What Doesn’t

Modern Parents want what’s best for their families, and if that means doing things differently from how they were raised, then they are prepared to try different techniques and strategies if that means the result will be producing happy and wonderful kids. That doesn’t mean that they never act like their parents, but they only use their parents’ techniques if it makes sense for their Modern Family.


Modern Parents Use Science and Proven Data to Inform Their Parenting Choices

With the availability of blogs, parenting books, school resources, and other forms of information, Modern Parents are always open to learning about new and better ways to parent their kids. I’ve found that this intense interest in information comes from a place of deep love for their kids – they just want to get parenting right so their kids grow up happy and well-adjusted.

Raise Smart, Motivated, and Morally-Minded Kids While Creating a Close Parent-Child Relationship

What I love most about modern parents is that they crave a positive and close connection with their kids. This means that modern parents are prepared to put in extra time talking with their child, assisting with problem-solving, or just hanging out with them if that means that they are also building a close bond with their child.

The bottom line is that modern parenting is all about using the family’s unique passions, values, and beliefs to guide parenting decisions that lead to raising good kids and building a close bond with them at the same time.


The Take Home Message


As a modern parent myself, I know first-hand how rewarding it is to acknowledge the uniqueness of my little family and to use current information to guide my parenting decisions.

Today, my kids are following their dreams (my son is attending USC – the college he’s dreamed about since he was a little boy). They are happy and healthy, and we all have a great relationship with each other – even with their dad.

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Dr. Becca Ballinger is a clinical psychologist practicing in Redlands, California. She specializes in therapy for teens, tweens, young adults, and families. Call (909) 326-2562 to schedule an appointment.


The resources presented on the Modern Parenting Solutions website are not intended to replace therapy – they are for reference and educational purposes only. As every family is individual and unique in their strengths and weaknesses, the resources and advice supplied on this website are general in nature and should never replace any medical or psychological services that you may be currently engaged in. Please contact a mental health professional if you have any questions.

If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Unless otherwise specified, all content, ideas, and images on this site were created by and for Modern Parenting Solutions. You are welcome to use content from this blog, but please give credit to the original source.