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Modern Parenting: A Philosophical Approach

Parenting, as we all know, is not a walk in the park. It’s more like a hike up Mount Everest without a map or oxygen tank. But don’t worry; it’s also one of life’s most rewarding journeys. In this ever-evolving world, the concept of parenting has seen significant changes and adaptations. Traditionally, parenting was more about discipline and obedience; however, modern parenting takes on a philosophical approach.

So grab your hiking boots (or comfy slippers), sit back and let’s explore the fascinating terrain of modern parenting through the lens of philosophy.

The Evolution of Parenting

In ancient times, children were considered miniature adults who needed to be shaped into responsible citizens. The focus was on obedience and respect for authority. Fast forward to today, where children are seen as individuals with their own rights and needs. This shift in perspective has given birth to what we now refer to as ‘modern parenting’.

A Philosophical Perspective

Modern parenting isn’t just about raising kids who follow rules blindly but nurturing individuals who can think critically and make informed decisions. Herein lies the philosophical approach – an emphasis on developing moral reasoning rather than enforcing compliance.

Socratic Parenting

If you’re familiar with Socrates’ method of questioning everything to gain insight and understanding, then you’ve got an idea of what Socratic parenting looks like. This style encourages parents to engage their children in thought-provoking conversations instead of dictating terms.

For instance, instead of saying “Don’t lie because it’s wrong,” a Socratic parent might ask “What do you think happens when people lie?” This allows children to explore their thoughts and develop their own moral compass.

Existential Parenting

Existentialism, a philosophy that emphasises individual existence, freedom and choice, can be applied to parenting as well. Existential parenting involves acknowledging your child’s unique experiences and perspectives.

The existential parent recognises that their child is not a blank slate but an individual with their own thoughts, feelings and experiences. This approach encourages children to express themselves freely and make choices based on their personal values.

Nurturing Emotional Intelligence

A crucial aspect of modern parenting is the focus on emotional intelligence. It’s about teaching kids to recognise and manage their emotions effectively. This helps nurture empathy, resilience, self-awareness and relationship skills – all essential for navigating life’s ups and downs.

Mindful Parenting

Mindful parenting takes this a step further by incorporating mindfulness – the practice of being present in the moment without judgement. Parents are encouraged to observe their reactions towards their children’s behaviour without immediately reacting.

This approach promotes understanding over punishment. For instance, if your child throws a tantrum because they don’t want to do their homework, instead of scolding them right away, you might take a moment to understand why they’re upset.

Challenges of Modern Parenting

While modern parenting has its benefits, it isn’t without challenges. Balancing work-life responsibilities while trying to be an ‘ideal’ parent can lead to stress or guilt. Remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution in parenting; what works for one family might not work for another.

Finding Balance

It’s crucial not just for parents but also for children to find balance in life. Encourage your kids to engage in various activities – sports, arts, academics – but also allow them downtime to relax and rejuvenate. Balance is not about doing everything; it’s about doing what matters most.


Parenting is a journey filled with twists, turns, ups and downs. But as we navigate this path, we can take comfort in knowing that every step we take shapes our children’s future. Whether you’re a fan of Socratic questioning or mindful observation, remember that at the heart of parenting lies love, understanding and respect for your child’s unique journey.

So here’s to all the parents out there – may your parenting journey be filled with joy, laughter and countless “aha!” moments!


Education: Emily Foster completed her Bachelor's degree in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. She further enhanced her educational background with a Master's in Journalism from Monash University, Melbourne.

Career: Emily Foster is a celebrated author and passionate blogger, known for her insightful and thought-provoking articles on her blog, "Illusions of Wisdom". Her writing primarily focuses on a blend of philosophical musings, modern societal trends, and personal development. She has authored several well-received books that delve into the intricacies of human behaviour and the pursuit of happiness in the modern world.

Hobbies and Interests: Emily is an avid proponent of staying healthy and incorporates a balanced lifestyle into her busy schedule. She enjoys activities like yoga, swimming, and running, finding them essential for maintaining her physical and mental well-being. Her interest in health and fitness often features in her writing, where she explores the connection between a healthy body and a productive mind.

In her leisure time, Emily is an enthusiastic reader, delving into everything from classical literature to contemporary psychological thrillers. She also has a keen interest in gardening, finding peace and creativity in nurturing her home garden. Her love for travel allows her to gather diverse experiences, which she often translates into her writing, providing a global perspective to her readers.

Personal Philosophy: Emily believes in the power of continuous learning and self-improvement. She advocates for the importance of critical thinking and introspection, encouraging her readers to question conventional wisdom and find their unique paths in life. Her blog, "Illusions of Wisdom", is a reflection of her journey and discoveries, and she uses it as a platform to inspire and empower her audience.

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