The A to Z of Parenting Styles
posted on March 13 2015
A practical field guide for the unassuming mum or mom, mor even.
The field of parenting is full of theories and books to help guide our choices but if you are like me and don't know the difference between helicopter and attachment parenting, or what exactly a free range kid is-- then this little guide might come in handy. So the next time we have some serious parenting talk, we can contribute with some insider jargon because we're so au fait!
In attachment parenting the baby's needs are put above everyone else. Physical bonding like carrying the baby in a sling rather than using a pram, breastfeeding on demand, never leaving your baby to cry and co-sleeping with them at night are all part of this style of parenting. The goal is to look for cues to understand when their baby needs to sleep, eat or play.
Popularised by Gina Ford in the UK, Babywise is parent led parenting. The needs of the baby are understood and imposed by the parent. Sort of the opposite of attachment parenting, a strict schedule is developed and adhered to. Sleeping and feeding habits are instilled in babies from an early age. The ideas is that babies like routine and fall into sleeping through the night quite early on.
Free Range Kid
Free-range parents entrust their children to walk to school alone and ride their bikes outside without supervision. The view is that the world is as safe today as it was in the 50's. Free Range proponents believe that the idea of danger and worry is stifling our children's development. The ideals are to prepare the child for the real world instead of sheltering the world for their child.
Helicopter parenting is also known as hyper-parenting or overparenting. Helicopter parents rarely let their children out of sight, the intention is to preserve their childhood by keeping them out of harms way. For example a parent who prohibits their kid from playing football in case they get hit in the chest.
Closely linked to the ideas of simple living, Minimalist Parenting is all about doing less and enjoying family time more by living authentically. Getting in touch with your essential needs and being true to yourself. This kind of parenting is kind of the opposite of the families that enrol their kids in 8 classes a week. It's about streamlining recreation and encouraging kids to enter the imaginary world of play.
Parenting this way means allowing kids to make mistakes even when as a parent you could have helped prevent them. It's about giving kids space to figure out that actions have consequences. Not interrupting if they are entering into a tiff with another child at the playground but rather helping them understand the fallout. If your child repeatedly forgets their homework at home, a parent can adopt the no rescue policy to ensure their child learns from the consequences. This has been recommended as a way of teaching your children the importance of responsibility for themselves.
Coined in the popular and controversial book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. Tiger parents believe that their children are capable of great things and set high expectations. They are strict, expect their children to follow rigid rules, and demand excellence in academics. By parenting through fear and respect they believe they will get the best abilities out of their children.
What about you?
Are you strict, overbearing, too soft? Do you children lack discipline because you'd rather be their friends or are you scared of turning into your mum?
Take our quiz to find out what kind of parent you are.
And if you score the same in all the answers, then welcome to the club! You are like most parents most of the time.