Crunchy moms: The parenting style born on social media

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With social media expanding, different parenting techniques such as “crunchy parents,” are becoming more popular.

Lauren Puthoff, Opinion Editor

Different parenting styles have made headlines and shocked other parents around the world. With the use of social media outlets, adults are able to grow fan bases by explaining their parenting techniques. The traditional “helicopter parents” and “snowplow parents” have been popular terms to describe how an adult looks after a child, but now there has been an increase in terms as various parenting styles stray from the traditional. 

With the rise of popularity in social media platforms, more and more parents have been eager to learn and engage with the world wide web — something they grew up without. Getting a social media account can be a fun and exciting way to document one’s life, but it can also be a quick and easy way to make money. Parents are prompt to introduce their children to their small or large fan bases to discuss how they parent, give tours and even take the camera along for a daily scheduled vlog. 

By posting children and parenting techniques on social media, others can learn about different styles or gain insight into what being a parent is really like. TikToker Alice Llani creates videos regarding her lifestyle and how she is raising her child, Fern. She refers to herself as a “vegan crunchy freebirth mama,” or, in other words, she describes her parenting as natural. 

Senior Lily Law has noticed how popular Llani’s videos are but how her styles of parenting are not so popular. “Although I only know about Alice and Fern through what is shown on social media, I have seen how different her style of parenting is compared to my parents and how others react to her videos. Most of the comments on her videos are negative, but I think some of it might come from concern,” she remarked. “She has been raising [Fern]in a world where he only knows his parents and the nature around him, while living on a plant based diet. Even if the world is full of beauty, I think it is just as important to introduce a kid to other kids his age and give him a diet that suits his age.”

The lack of support for Llani’s parenting has not changed her techniques in the slightest, instead it has encouraged her to be more open as to the benefits of being a “crunchy mom.”

Llani wants Fern to try new things, even if it may seem dangerous to other parents. She allows him to eat sand, suck on rocks and lick grocery carts, all due to the fact that he is breastfed. Instead of being vaccinated, Fern relies solely on his mother’s breast milk for important vitamins and minerals that act as medication. As he grows up, he will begin to eat organic and fresh foods, but Llani will have frozen breast milk in storage in case he gets sick. 

Although many find her approach to parenting a child unconventional, it seems to be working for her and her family, even with the constant shameful comments she receives. 

Senior Chloe Isbell has seen how “mom shaming” has affected parents through social media.“Everyone has a different style of parenting and I think social media has really put parents under scrutiny for their style. Every aspect of parenting has pros and cons, and people will only see what they want to see, whether it’s the negative or positive side,” she explained. “It isn’t the place of those on social media to comment on their beliefs and opinions because the parent is most likely doing what they think is best for their child.” 

Although Llani’s parenting techniques differ from others, she is doing what she thinks is best for her child. She is raising Fern in a way that she wishes her parents would have raised her and sees benefits of this lifestyle. 

Her choice to raise her child in a “crunchy” way did not come to fruition overnight; instead, her parenting style stems from how she was not accepted for being vegetarian during her childhood. 

As one grows up, it is important for them to have the opportunity to explore the world and gain a deeper understanding of their life. The generation one is born in can play a role in how a person parents due to the events they experience in comparison to their child’s. Parents either raise their children similarly to how they were raised or in a completely different way. Parents play a vital role by inspiring their children to make smart and healthy choices, but sometimes the parental role can go from encouraging to overpowering, causing the child to feel unloved or unwanted.

As many seniors begin to think about the future, they start thinking of their parents and how they have made an influence on their lives. Senior Taylor Buhr hopes to mix in her beliefs with the same parenting style as her parents, “As I have looked back on my childhood, I think about how much I have grown and learned with the help of friends, family and other influential figures in my life. The childhood I had in comparison to the childhoods kids are having right now is completely different, so if I become a parent, it would only make sense to change certain aspects of how I raise my children in comparison to my parents,” she stated. “With changing times, parenting also has to change. If I become a parent, the one thing I hope to do is let my children know that I am a safe space for them and will support them no matter what.”

Children that grow up in a household where they feel uncomfortable tend to parent their children in a completely different manner. They parent the way they wished they were raised and work to evolve their parenting skills to match each child individually. Whether this means they need to be the “cool parent” or the “jokester parent,” they will do their best to keep a strong relationship with their kids, while also keeping their best interests at the forefront. 

Parenting does not have a “one size fits all” style; instead, it varies in extreme ways from parent to parent. Every parent has their own unique way of guiding their child through life.