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This Year's Top Trending Parenting Styles, According to Google Search

Are you more of an Elephant or a New Age parent? See this year's most searched styles here.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published December 19, 2023
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Image: AnnaStills | Shutterstock

In today’s world of TikTok, Twitter (now X) and Instagram, it feels like there is a new parenting type being thrown out every day. With more and more voices joining the conversation, it can occasionally feel a little overwhelming to keep up with it all. But amid all the noise this year, there were definitely some standouts in the parenting space.

As a part of its Year in Search recap, Google has released data on the top trending parenting types in search this year. While not necessarily the most popular parenting types, these “trending” queries saw a high spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2023 as compared to 2022. So think of them as the hot new parenting styles people couldn’t wait to learn more about.

While there are some tried and true types on this list, there are certainly some new ones worth learning a little about. Check the top 9 below, and consider how you might weave a little of each into your parenting style this year.

This Year’s Top Trending Parenting Styles Based on Google Search

10. Routine

Routine parenting involves consistently engaging in daily tasks and responsibilities, such as feeding, nurturing and guiding children, to ensure their well-being and development. While routine parenting is pretty self-explanatory, establishing a routine that works for you and baby can be anything but. One of the easiest and most helpful places to incorporate routine parenting into your parenting style is by setting up a bedtime routine. Set yourself up for success with this guide to How (and When) to Establish a Baby Bedtime Routine.

9. Authoritarian

Authoritarian parenting has had quite the reckoning over the past few years. In this “old-school" type of parenting, rules are strict and don’t leave much room for interpretation, punishments are swiftly meted out, and kids rarely have a say in making decisions or choosing things for themselves. As with any parenting style, this comes with its positives and negatives. Learn more about How Authoritarian Parenting Can Affect Your Kids.

8. Concerted cultivation

Concerted cultivation parenting, as coined by sociologist Annette Lareau, involves actively fostering a child’s talents and skills through organized activities, structured schedules, and direct intervention, aiming to equip them with a range of experiences and opportunities.

7. Free range

Much like its name would suggest, free-range parenting aims to foster independence as developmentally appropriate. This means letting your kids run free on the playground, leaving them at home alone when they are ready and able to care for themselves and more. Utah made headlines a few years ago by legalizing free-range parenting.

6. Natural

Natural parenting emphasizes a holistic and instinctive approach, aligning with the child’s natural development, fostering strong emotional bonds, and often incorporating practices like breastfeeding. The American Psychological Association outlines the benefits, negatives, and finer points of natural parenting here.

5. Helicopter

Helicopter parenting is one many of us know well and hints at the tendency of parents to “hover” over their children during their daily activities. Helicopter parents often micromanage every aspect of their experiences, activities and decisions. Learn how to discern if You’re a Helicopter Parent or Just a Hands-On Parent.

4. Active

Active parenting refers to a proactive and engaged approach to raising children, involving parents who are actively involved in their child’s life, education and overall development. Similar to concerted cultivation, this parenting style includes consistent communication, positive discipline and setting clear expectations. Discover How to Practice Active Listening With Your Child here.

3. Soft

Similar to the token “Gentle Parenting,” soft parenting is all about crafting a supportive and emotionally connected environment without being too lenient when it comes to discipline. Curious to incorporate a little soft or gentle parenting into your style? Learn more about What Gentle Parenting Is and If It’s Right for You.

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2. Elephant

Elephant parenting is a style grounded in the belief that children, above all, need to be nurtured and protected, especially during their younger years, notes Dr. Robyn Silverman. Elephant is pretty close to the opposite of “tiger parenting,” which places high value on independence, and academic and athletic success.

1. New Age

The top trending parenting style for 2023—new age parenting. A fitting wrap to this list, new age parenting encourages caregivers to embrace new cultures and styles of parenting. The new reality show The Parent Test emphasizes that new age parents focus on becoming their kids’ friend and mentor instead of being a bossy or imposing parent.

When it comes to your individual parenting style, don’t be afraid to mix and match. Rarely do parents ascribe solely to one parenting style. As the new year approaches, consider taking something from each style and combining them into something that works best for you and baby!

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