Mobile Navigation


The A-Z of Parenting Styles

posted on September 06 2017



New to parenting? You’ll be bombarded with this style and that. Here’s a quick cheat sheet to help you navigate what is what.

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 exactly what is a free range kid? Here is a little guide. So the next time we have some serious parenting talk, we'll be all up on our insider jargon.


Attachment Parenting

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 and let them lead the way by freeing up the path between their needs and obstacles that present themselves.


Babywise Parenting 

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 babes from an early age. The idea is that babies like routine and fall into sleeping through the night quite early on. Ms Ford believes routine is good for babies and children and setting up clear boundaries help children grow comfortably.


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 

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 head and suffer a concussion. When their child forgets something the parents steps in to fix the problem.


Minimalist Parenting 

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 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.


No Rescue Parenting 

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 develop their own thoughts on 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.


Tiger Parenting

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 because it takes these to enable children to reach their greatness. 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. 


Click here to take our test and find out what kind of parent you are.

Related Posts


Leave a comment:

Comments will appear after they have been reviewed for spam

What's Happening?

sign up for emails

get 15% off your first order with an instant code - join the Little Citizens of the world movement