Parenting styles and methods have certainly changed in the modern era. By and large, there is more of an emphasis on using gentler parenting methods.
For example, Parenting writes that it was common back in the day for moms to let their infant exercise their lungs if they woke up in the middle of the night as a way to teach them to go back to sleep on their own, but now it’s far more common to see moms using methods that require a gradual cutback of their presence in the room in order to sleep train their infant.
Of course, there are still moms out there that parent more like a grandmother and are very old-fashioned in their methodology.
For example, they believe in the idea of “tough love” and instead of letting their son or daughter constantly quit after-school activities such as drama classes, basketball practice or art lessons because they decided after one or two sessions that “it isn’t for them," they are the type that tell their child that they signed up for it and paid money for the lessons, so that they have to see it all the way through and aren’t allowed to quit.
Moms that are curious to find out if their parenting style is more old-fashioned than their peers, here’s a list of signals that point out if one’s methods are in line with modern trends or traditional tips.
Mom Junction writes that it was fairly common for previous generations of parents to act just like “helicopters” and hover protectively over their little ones, worried about something happening as they attempted to run free on the playground with their friends.
For moms that constantly catch themselves hovering right next to their little one as they attempt to climb the monkey bars at the local playground or start fretting the minute they start walking up the stairs to go down the slide at the park, there is a good chance that they are following the old-fashioned method of helicopter parenting.
Amongst parents today, there is a debate raging over whether or not they should allow their child to have some kind of screen time and if so, how many hours are healthy and how many hours are detrimental to their development. There are some parents that are a bit more lax with how many hours of screen time their child gets while others feel that everything in moderation is a good rule of thumb to follow.
Mama Natural writes that moms that try to implement absolutely no screen time ever—even if it is educational, like an app that can help a toddler learn to read, for example—are definitely following a more old-fashioned approach to the topic.
Parenting notes that another sign that you might be unconsciously following in your grandma’s footsteps is if you promote the “clean your plate entirely” rule for your children when they are eating dinner.
Sure, this type of method was all the rage when your grandma was a young mother, and no one likes to see yummy food go to waste but it is not always the best idea because it might accidentally train your child’s stomach to get used to eating a meal way past the time when it starts to feel full. It’s best to let your child eat what he or she wants and if they would like more, to go up and get seconds.
As with every other topic when it comes to parenting, the idea of whether or not to keep to a strict nap time schedule is often up for debate amongst the parenting forums that can be found online.
According Parents, mothers that subscribe to an older style often find themselves implementing a very strict nap time and get very flustered or start feeling annoyed if real life intervenes and they can’t put their little one down for a bit of shut-eye at the time they are usually accustomed to doing so. Yes, it’s nice to keep things consistent for the sake of your child’s internal alarm clock, but being too rigid isn’t good either.
Romper points out that another red flag that you’re following your grandmother’s method of parenting a little too well is if your child isn’t allowed to have many—if any—choices in his or her life. For example, picking out an age-appropriate and dress code-appropriate outfit to wear to school (if they don’t have to wear uniforms, of course) or asking them to pick out a meal they’d like for you to make to eat for dinner.
Instead, it is either your way or the high way and there’s no room to allow for choices. Being firm isn’t a bad thing, but being a bit more laid-back and allowing your child to make age-appropriate choices will go a long way to better their development.
PJ Media notes that traditional moms still insist on teaching their child to say “please” and “thank you.” While it is important to instill good manners into your child, some folks can go a bit overboard with it, especially if they are following more old-school styles of parenting.
Your child doesn’t have to say “please” every time they want to be excused from the dinner table and it is a bit excessive to expect them to say “thank you” every time you hand them a plate with food on it. As long as they exhibit good manners most of the time (especially when out in public), you should be good.
Red Tri writes that family code words are coming back into fashion after it came in handy in a tense situation with a child in Arizona back in 2016.
This handy parenting trick was actually all the rage for previous generations of parents so if you spend a ton of time drilling the family password into your children’s memories and making sure all of the approved emergency contacts for your kids know it like the back of their hand too, then that is an excellent sign that you are parenting more like a grandma than a mother living in the modern age.
PJ Media points out that nowadays, parenting styles have shifted a bit to the point where moms and dads try to use positive reinforcement or more creative techniques in order to teach their child that their misbehavior has consequences.
This is a far cry from the previous generations’ favorite tip: grounding their kid. Slacked off in class and grades took a nosedive this semester? No more hanging out with friends until your grades improve. Moms, if you notice that your first impulse is to ground your older child until their behavior gets better, then you’re definitely following in your grandma’s footsteps.
The idea of age-appropriate chores has definitely shifted amongst parents in the modern age. My neighbor’s children have different chores than I did at that age. For example, they have to wipe down the computer or the tablets if they notice that they are getting too dusty whereas it was common for my friends and I to do chores like mowing the lawn on the weekends.
PJ Media notes that another sign of a mom with an old-fashioned sense of parenting is the type to assign their child to perform more time-honored chores like mowing the lawn rather than remembering to feed the pet fish or something like that.
Nowadays, it often feels as if children are tuned into their devices at all hours of the day and night thanks to streaming websites where you don’t even have to pick up the remote control for the television set anymore if you want to catch up on your favorite shows.
PJ Media notes that moms may be just a wee bit old-fashioned if they implement the traditional rule of no television (or using any kind of devices such as a smartphone or a tablet) until all of their homework has been completed and they’ve checked it over to make sure that it is done correctly.
Romper points out that it was quite common for previous generations of parents to recruit the eldest child to watch his or her younger siblings, although this has largely fallen out of favor with many modern parents because they prefer either having a close relative or a professional babysitter with great references watch their children.
Not all modern moms are hopping onto the professional babysitter band wagon and if their eldest child is of a certain age—usually in their teens—then they are perfectly content with letting the oldest kiddo watch their brothers or sisters while the parents go see a movie or have to work late every once in a blue moon.
In this day and age, there are plenty of mothers out there that are concerned about the ingredients in their child’s food and prefer to cook using as many organic food items as they can possibly find. They also prefer to give their child healthy snacks such as hummus and carrot sticks instead of things like Dunkaroos or Dorito chips.
Romper writes that if you raise your eyebrows at the whole organic food for kids trend and are pretty lax about what your child eats, then that is yet another hint from the universe that you are parenting like a grandmother.
When I was growing up, it was fairly common for parents to do everything they could to not coddle their child. From letting their kids hang out with their friends around town for hours without ever having to check in or being totally cool with their little one hopping on a bicycle without a helmet or knee pads.
Romper points out that you might prefer traditional parenting methods if you start feeling exasperated at your fellow moms that urge their child to text them on the hour, every hour and make sure that you raise your children in the exact same manner that you were raised.
Thanks to the wonderful world of social media, moms nowadays tend to like to show off their infant’s stylish outfits for the entire Internet to oooh and ahhh over. There are countless photographs posted online of babies wearing fashionable beanies and cutesy jumpsuits, although thankfully they don’t go too overboard with bundling them up.
Parenting points out that this is a total 180 from how previous generations of mothers operated; they preferred to bundle their little one up even when it was a million degrees out during the summer and didn’t really go for the whole mini-fashionista angle. Moms, if you keep wanting to add more layers, calm down and don’t go overboard. There’s no need to act like you’re a time-traveler from an earlier generation, your little one will be fine with a layer or two.
According to Parenting, many modern parents aren’t keeping their child inside the house until their immune system is stronger but instead they are being smart about where they take their infant or who they invite over to their house or apartment when the little one finally comes home from the hospital.
Of course, there are still parents that fret about the chance that their little one could catch a cold and insist on the old way of keeping their child cooped up in the house until they are certain that their immune system is strong enough to deal with any potential germies that it will encounter in the great outdoors.
Parenting points out that some moms that practice the method of attachment parenting are proponents of co-sleeping. In this method of parenting, the infant sleeps in bed next to his or her parents instead of in a crib or a bassinet either nearby in their parents’ room or in their own separate room.
Moms that raise their eyebrow at this newfangled notion of co-sleeping often have a tendency to prefer going the traditional route of just letting an infant sleep in a bassinet all throughout the night and simply putting a baby monitor in their room so they’ll hear if the little one wakes up—just as generations of parents have done before them.
Parenting points out that there are many mothers in this day and age that choose to nurse their infant way past the traditional six-month mark; heck, there are plenty of pediatricians that encourage their clients’ mothers to nurse them up until the little one is a year or two because there is no reason to stop if both mother and child find it helpful to continue.
However, not all modern mothers are on board for nursing their child for that long for a wide variety of reasons and they prefer sticking to the tried and true benchmark of the age of six months to start weaning their child away from being fed with a bottle.
Breastfeeding has become wildly popular amongst many modern moms. In my local gifting community online, I keep seeing tons of posts from breastfeeding mothers that are happy to gift other moms the equipment that they don’t use once their child starts eating solid food or helping each other out by sharing tips, tricks, etc.
Parenting notes that it was common for previous generations to rely on bottle-feeding a baby formula and even though breastfeeding is a popular trend nowadays, there are still some mothers out there that prefer to go the traditional formula in a bottle route for their little one.
S. Mommy notes that there are still some moms out there that take a tough love approach and refuse to let their little one quit. For example, if your daughter wants to take art classes after school, then that means she has to attend each one that she signed up for and can’t just decide after visiting a few classes that it isn’t fun anymore or wants to try a new activity.
There are definitely some modern parents out there that would acquiesce to their child’s wishes because they don’t want to push them into doing something they don’t want to do, but there are still proponents of tough love parenting out there.
PJ Media notes that back in the day, moms wouldn’t dream of scheduling playdates for their child because they fully expected their little one to go outside before lunchtime and romp around with the rest of the neighborhood kids at local parks or even schoolyards.
In the age of technology and with everyone having very busy lives, most moms feel it’s easier to text other parents or message them on social media in order to have get-togethers with their children but there’s still some old-school moms that believe it’s easier for their child to run out and play with the neighborhood kids because trying to schedule events can be a hassle.
According to Romper, it was pretty common for moms in previous generations to ease up on the use of sitters once their child hit the ages of 10 to 12 years old because they figured that they were old enough to stay home alone by themselves for a few hours at a time.
While that lax parenting doesn’t tend to fly with many modern mothers today, there are still some moms out there that have fond memories of relaxing home alone by themselves when they were a child and know that their little one’s mature enough to handle it, so they don’t fret if they leave them to their own devices here and there.