Is Modern Parenting Better Than Traditional?

There are two primary schools of thought regarding parenting- modern and traditional parenting. Of course, parenting has changed a lot since we were kids; if you are a 90’s kid, you were most likely raised in a traditional parenting style, but what does modern parenting look like?

Traditional parenting focuses on using structure and respect for authority to raise responsible and functional adults with good manners, proper education, and a hard work ethic. Modern parenting is more flexible and uses open communication to nurture, be more involved, and allow children to express their individuality freely.

Traditional and modern parenting both have their positives and downsides. So, let’s have a look at both parenting styles, how they function, and how they differ.

Vintage picture of Traditional Parenting vs Modern Parenting

Related Reading: German Parenting Vs. American Parenting

Four Parenting Styles

If we are comparing modern and traditional parenting styles based on the four existing parenting styles:

  1. Authoritarian
  2. Authoritative
  3. Permissive
  4. Uninvolved Parents)

the best way to categorize them would be that modern parenting falls under the category of permissive or authoritative parenting. In contrast, traditional parenting falls under the category of authoritarian, sometimes spilling over into uninvolved parenting.

Traditional Parenting

Traditional parenting is rooted in an archaic and authoritarian style of parenting. It is a parental understanding and responsibility observed from previous generations. Traditional parenting focuses on raising children to become responsible and functional adults who positively contribute to society and their families.

The big problem with conventional parenting is that it has a very high chance of turning into an uninvolved parenting style.


The philosophy of traditional parenting is to be affectionate and loving towards their children while having a sense of power over them to ensure obedience and responsibility. However, they still value the child’s needs despite being harsh in the manner of discipline.


Traditional parenting focuses on teaching their children good manners. They believe that education is all about accomplishments and good grades. While the child has little say in the matter, it is an excellent way to develop responsibility and work ethic.


Traditional parenting has a lot more restrictions and boundaries over their children. As a result, they tend to say no to a lot more than modern parenting.

They believe it’s right to interfere whenever they feel that the child isn’t acting according to the set ideologies and beliefs of the family. Traditional parents have a lot more restrictions and boundaries.

The techniques of conventional parenting are rigid and lack flexibility. Parents establish rules at an early age, and parents tend to stand firmly by their decisions; they do not tolerate tantrums and disrespect. For example, if the child does not want to eat their vegetables; then they lose their privileges.

Cons of Traditional Parenting

The downside to traditional parenting is that a child is more likely to become timid or unable to develop proper social skills because they lack a sense of self and haven’t had the chance to create their character.

Modern Parenting

Modern parenting is a more involved, flexible, and relatively conflict-free style of parenting. Modern parents believe that every child is unique and requires a different kind of parenting. Modern parenting is customized to each child’s individual needs and interests.

A lot more attention is given to the child’s well-being and mental health. Modern parenting tries to raise their child to be self-reliant with high self-esteem. Modern parents focus on nurturing their children’s talents and personal views while enforcing rules healthily.


The philosophy of modern parenting is to make your child respect you rather than fear you, which is often the outcome of traditional parenting. They set themselves above their child but choose not to hold all the power in their hands.

Instead focus on encouraging the child to explore and develop their sense of self. They focus on boosting the child’s confidence in their individuality to take on the real world.


Modern parents are quite dynamic regarding education and do not give a lot of credit to the grades. Their focus has shifted from good grades and achievements to equipping their kids with skills and talents to fit into the real world practically.

Modern parents try to pay attention to their children’s strengths and focus on giving them the needed recognition to gain more confidence in this particular area.


When the modern parenting route is taken, parents often misunderstand the balance of discipline and the difference between being involved in their kids’ lives and being too involved. As a result, modern parenting leads to a rather permissive style of parenting.

Modern parents try to let their kids earn privileges instead of revoking them. For example, they get rewarded for eating their vegetables instead of being punished for not eating them.

Cons of Modern Parenting

Permissive parenting usually occurs because one or both parents were raised in a traditional and rather strict environment and vowed not to expose their children to the same environment. Unfortunately, this leads to a different extreme, and children are allowed to do anything.

Permissive parenting usually creates somewhat spoiled children who cannot deal with a scenario where they’re denied something. In turn, this can lead to many tantrums and worse. Thus, parents become slaves to the child, where the child is the one in control rather than the parents.

Traditional vs. Modern Parenting

PARENTING STYLE-Archaic or authoritarian parenting-Permissive parenting
CONTROL & DEMAND-Parents are firm and strict.
-Set boundaries
-Discipline children –
Children have a fixed set of chores that are expected to be completed.
-Parents are flexible and less controlling
-Less conflict
-Parents focus on allowing their children to express themselves freely.  
PUNISHMENT-Physical punishment (spanking) or the child loses their privileges
-Additional chores
-May instill fear and reduce trust.
-Parents prefer not to discipline the child
-It is linked to ill-behaving children
-May grow up without the ability to deal with disappointments
OBEDIENCE-Strictly enforce expected behavior
-Expect children to follow the family’s ideologies and beliefs.
-Allow children to express individuality freely
-Parents are open to children having different ideologies and beliefs, even if they contradict their beliefs
-Attention towards a child’s feelings is less of a concern
-Criticizes lovingly and encourages the child to work harder
-Praise Parents believe that positive reward produces better outcomes
-Very careful about criticizing their children, they are afraid of hurting the child’s self-esteem.
INDEPENDENCE-Independence can wait
-Parents believe they should set rules and standards to form and mold a child into a mature adult.
-Parents motivate independence from a young age
-They motivate individuality and boost their kids’ self-esteem as much as possible to promote independence.
EDUCATION-No pain, no gain!
-Parents expect hard work and good grades
-Parents expect hard work and commitment to co-curricular activities that the child has chosen to do
-Parents rarely help with homework; they expect children to do their homework and assignments
-Parents want children to focus on their strong points and thrive in what they love doing
-Parents don’t mind children trying many activities and dropping the ones they don’t like
-Parents often do homework with their children to help them into the right school and college
ATTENTION-Constant interference to ensure safety
-Children are expected to entertain themselves
-Children are expected to solve their problems like peer-group problems
-Parents prefer to be more involved in fun activities
-Parents try to solve all their kid’s problems to keep them safe
COMMUNITY-Raising the child was about good citizenship
-Good citizenship was believed to start at home
-Parents expect the child to greet and respect elders
-Children are expected to be polite and helpful
-Children are allowed to express themselves freely.

Continue Reading: Gender Neutral Parent Names [COMPREHENSIVE LIST]


To conclude, modern parenting might seem a whole lot easier, but it’s also a lot easier to fall into permissive parenting if your children are given too much freedom. As for traditional parenting, there are great ways to teach your children responsibility, and that action has consequences.

However, it would help if you remembered that each child is unique, and it may be beneficial to be more flexible and less rigid.

I hope you have gained some insight into modern and traditional parenting. Remember to be true to what works for you and your family, and happy parenting!

Skip to content