Grab The Popcorn: The Weirdest Parenting Trends Of 2014

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(Our Grab The Popcorn posts look back at the biggest Mommyish stories of 2014. Read them all here.) 

2014 was certainly a weird year in the world of parenting trends. We saw so many new-fangled ideas for raising our little rug rats that would make a normal person scratch their head and go “uhhhh….huh?” I think it’s very telling that these methods are being attached to the word “trend”. As in, it should not be expected to stick around for longer than it’s 15 minutes of fame. Considering some of the ideas that came out of the woodwork of parenting this year, I deeply hope that is the case. Let’s take a stroll back through the last 12 months and examine the weirdest parenting trends of 2014:

1. RIE Parenting- for the parents that want to raise a teeny 60-year old. I will start with the trend that makes the least amount of sense to me. RIE parenting advocates think that treating children like adults is the way to go. They say it’s important to have adult-style conversations with your little one and to treat them with respect. Ok, I can be on board with that. However, a lot of the tenants are pretty extreme and I don’t really see the value in them. From the Vanity Fair article profiling the method:

“Children don’t need toys,” says Solomon. “Almost all of the toys at RIE can be found in somebody’s cupboard.” No rattles either. According to Gerber, “Rattles are an adult idea: you pick up something, and it makes noise. Why does it make noise? Because some adult put something into something.”

I am the first to admit that kids don’t need toys to be occupied but this seems pretty outlandish. Of course an adult made a rattle- everything a baby touches will have been made by an adult. I guess if you just take the good and toss out the bad, there are some lessons to be taken from RIE parenting but overall, it seems to be a passing trend.

2. Snowplough parenting- for the parents who want to sweep away life’s dangers and help their child achieve All The Things. This trend came to us from Extreme Parenting so I guess we can automatically write it off as a fringe parenting method. The idea behind it is to remove all obstacles for your special snowflake so they can succeed in life where you did not. That doesn’t sound at all unhealthy! Eyeroll.

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