‘Scrunchy moms’ are taking over TikTok in viral parenting trend: ‘Parenting is a balancing act’

We are a society obsessed with labels — and thanks to social media and its many hashtags, labeling ourselves is now easier than ever.

The latest label taking over parenting TikTok is one that actually combines two other parenting labels: “silky” and “crunchy.” Mix together those two terminologies — and their philosophies — and you have “scrunchy.”

But what does each of these labels mean, and why are TikTok moms breaking them down with a Louis Prima song from 1972? While the latter part of the trend might always remain a mystery (TikTok is always ebbing and flowing with quirky soundbites and catchy tunes), the differences between each style are pretty clear-cut.

To better understand each label — without casting judgement or showing preference for any one particular style — In The Know by Yahoo spoke to Donna Whittaker, an early childhood education expert from Big Blue Marble Academy.

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What is silky parenting?

“Silky parents are typically considered modern parents,” explained Whittaker. “They embrace modern conveniences in raising their children and do not feel guilty for their choices.”

For silky parents, it’s all about making the most practical choice for their family, from mealtime to bedtime.

“A silky mom will choose to breast- or bottle-feed, depending on what she feels works best for her, her baby and her family,” said Whittaker. “ They believe that dinner from a drive-through on a busy night is an acceptable meal choice. After all, the children are being fed, right?”

And when it comes to their kids’ medical well-being, silky parents embrace modernity all the way. “Silky parents will not take the wait-and-see or ‘let nature take its course’ approach when their child is not feeling well,” said Whittaker. “They will use what modern medicine has to offer to help their child feel better.”

As for bedtime, silky parents prefer for their child to sleep in their own bed and not with them, said Whittaker.

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What is crunchy parenting?

“People who are sometimes called tree huggers or hippies might be considered crunchy parents,” explained Whittaker. “They are connected to the Earth and all things natural and want their child to be as well.”

Mealtime and medicinal choices also tend to be all-natural for crunchy parents. “Their child will be breastfed, wear cloth diapers, be introduced to herbs and essential oils when not feeling well and will eat home-grown or organic food,” said Whittaker.

As for playtime, children raised in crunchy homes are encouraged to play outdoors. “ Crunchy parents have their child playing in a stream rather than using a device to learn about a stream,” said Whittaker.

And when bedtime rolls around, crunchy parents tend to welcome their child into their bed and will let the child decide when they are ready to sleep alone, said Whittaker.

What is scrunchy parenting?

“Scrunchy parents have found their own special place between silky and crunchy parenting,” Whittaker explained. “Their personal preferences, lifestyles, number of children and other factors have helped them to happily and unapologetically land in a place we now call scrunchy parenting.”

For scrunchy parents, raising kids is all about balance and gray areas. While they do make healthy, organic choices for their kids — and for the planet — they also embrace modernity and convenience when they need to.

“A scrunchy parent may pick vegetables out of the backyard garden to make dinner on an uneventful Monday night, and then roll through a drive-through on a super-busy and stressful Thursday night — and be at peace with both,” said Whittaker.

Medical choices are also balanced in scrunchy households. “A scrunchy parent will feel that sometimes their child may need a trip to the pediatrician, while other times a natural approach might be the best course of action,” said Whittaker.

Bedtime is also a compromise for scrunchy parents. “They may decide that it’s OK for their child to come and sleep in their bed when they have a bad dream or when thunder rumbles outside their window, but not every night,” Whittaker explained.

“Scrunchy parents have found what works best for their family and are OK with their choices. These parents are flexible and realize that in life everything is not black and white; there is a lot of gray, especially in parenting.”

Which style should parents choose for their families?

Only you will know which style, if any, best fits your family’s needs.

No two families are alike, just as no two kids within each family is alike. So, when it comes to parenting styles, it’s best to remain flexible and open-minded while putting your kids’ best interests first.

“Parenting, like life, is a balancing act,” said Whittaker.

So whether you choose to follow one of these styles, or create a whole new label of your own, all that matters is that your kids are healthy and happy — and that you try to make sustainable, earth-friendly choices as often as you can.

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