What's an 'almond mom'? Is 'sittervising' a thing? Here's your guide to the latest parenting buzzwords

What is ‘silky parenting’? Do you know what ‘sittervising’ means? Learn the definitions of these and other parenting buzzwords experts say can be helpful and harmful. (Photo: Getty Creative)
What is ‘silky parenting’? Do you know what ‘sittervising’ means? Learn the definitions of these and other parenting buzzwords experts say can be helpful and harmful. (Photo: Getty Creative)

Parenting has never been, and probably never will be, a one-size-fits-all experience. Technological advances make each generation of new parents different from their predecessors. And while these advances are seen as positives in the parenting world, sometimes they are met with resistance.

With each new generation, parents seem to form their own “codes” and language for the types of experiences they encounter. Maybe you're familiar with “helicopter parent,” “baby-led weaning” and “mindful parenting — but what about terms like “sittervising,” “silky moms” and “scrunchy moms?”

What does this new jargon mean, and how useful is it to label the way we parent? Yahoo Life spoke with several parenting experts and psychologists about why parents use these terms, what they mean and how they might be used to cause unnecessary division and miscommunication in the parenting world.

Alyza Berman, an Atlanta-based psychotherapist and mother of three, believes it isn’t always beneficial to use these “buzzwords.”

“Parenting is hard, and there is no 'correct' way to do it. But also, those parenting buzzwords are not real styles of parenting. They are not clinical,” she shares. However, Berman also believes that keeping an open mind about different parenting styles can lead to a more supportive community.

“The idea of committing to a labeled parenting style puts too much pressure on the mom, but also makes it so she may not be open to other parenting styles. Having an appreciation for different parenting styles creates a better environment for moms as a whole,” Berman says.

So what are some of these “buzzwords” you need to know? Even if you prefer not to subscribe to these trendy monikers, it helps to know the definitions if everyone in your parenting group is talking about them.

  • Helicopter parenting is a parenting style described as “hovering above a child” and being “very watchful” of everything the child is doing.

  • Snowplow parenting is also called “lawnmower” or “bulldozer” parenting, and it simply means a parenting style in which parents remove obstacles from their child’s path to keep them from experiencing pain or failure.

  • Babymoon is a term used to describe a getaway or vacation the parents take before the baby arrives.

  • Free-range parenting is a parenting style that promotes independence and rejects the idea that children are in constant peril and need protection at all times.

  • Baby-led weaning allows the baby to set the pace when being introduced to solids and minimizes parent confusion on when it’s appropriate to introduce solids.

  • Gentle parenting is a parenting style that allows children and parents to develop a relationship based on the child’s desires and choices rather than the expectations and regulations set by the parents.

  • Mindful parenting allows parents to accept each moment without worrying about the past or future as related to the moment.

Experts says that parents don't need to label their caregiving style — but knowing certain buzzwords can have its advantages. (Photo: Getty Creative)
Experts says that parents don't need to label their caregiving style — but knowing certain buzzwords can have its advantages. (Photo: Getty Creative)

While you may have heard of these terms, there are a few that have recently surfaced, thanks to social media and the internet. Matthew Orsini, media relations manager for popular parenting websites What to Expect and BabyCenter, says that moms in those community forums are constantly discussing and defining these new terms when they’re online.

According to Orsini, “Sharenting [is] sharing information about children online, usually on social media networks. Parents express particular concerns about sharing sensitive information that might compromise children’s privacy and/or safety.”

Moms are also discussing terms such as “crunchy mom,” “silky mom” and “scrunchy mom.”

  • Crunchy parenting is a parenting style that leans into more natural parenting methods. “This might include practices like opting for a home birth that’s unmedicated, using cloth diapers, making organic baby food at home, etc. The term originates from the texture of granola,” Orsini says.

  • Silky parenting is a parenting style that is the opposite of the “crunchy” style. “Mainstream parenting might include practices like opting for a medicated birth in a hospital, using disposable diapers, giving your baby store-bought pouches, etc.,” he explains.

  • Scrunchy parenting combines “crunchy” and “silky” parenting. Parents might choose to have a hospital birth but make their baby food. Additionally, they might use disposable diapers but breastfeed. This style of parenting is about choosing what works for each family.

But wait — there’s more! Parenting coach and founder of Partner in Parenting Cindy Shuster tells Yahoo Life that we can thank a reality TV show for the term “almond parenting,” which means “parents who micromanage their kids' diets.” Almond parenting began trending on TikTok recently after a clip from a 2014 episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills went viral. In the clip, Yolanda Hadid, mother of model Gigi Hadid, told her then-teenager to “have a couple of almonds, and chew them really well.” The comment was made after Gigi mentioned how weak she felt.

Karen Reardanz, a baby products and registry expert at Babylist.com says that the "almond mom" term describes a "mom who's hyperfocused on dieting and being thin and continues to comment on her child's eating patterns throughout the child's life.”

“That's a trendy buzzword for a parenting behavior that can have serious consequences on a child — their body image and their relationship to food," she adds. "So, it's interesting how something like this can be a 'buzzword' or trend on TikTok, but can lead to serious discussions in media and at home.”

Deborah Porter, a parenting workplace consultant and mom coach, says that understanding what these words mean can help moms give themselves grace when their parenting style may not match their friend’s style.

Porter says that “sittervising” and “parentification” have been newly introduced terms in the last five years.

Sittervising is supervising your children from a sitting position instead of hovering over them physically. Think of it like this: As children are at play on the playground, the parent will supervise and watch them while seated on a nearby bench instead of standing near them,” Porter explains.

She also shares that “parentification” is defined as “a parent who heavily relies on a child to either help raise the other children, help pay bills, run the home.”

Now that you know a few trendier parenting terms don’t be surprised if they are different tomorrow. Being a parent is all about adapting to change, after all.

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