There are a lot of different parenting styles, and if you’re a mom like me, who loves to hit up the internet to find out how to deal with certain parenting issues, I know that it can definitely be overwhelming and confusing, especially in this day and age. So let’s get through all these parenting styles one at a time, shall we?
Let’s go back to when there were just four parenting styles. In the 1980s, four main parenting styles had been identified, based on control and warmth–two primary aspects of parenting behavior. These are Authoritarian, Permissive, Authoritative, and Neglectful.
(High control, low warmth)
- Uses tough love and criticism
- Parents are always right and should be followed at all times
(Low control, high warmth)
- Nurtures needs, capabilities, and personalities
- Lacks control, discipline, limits, and boundaries
(Low control, low warmth)
- Has no rules
(High control, high warmth)
- Has clear rules
- Listens to child
- Values child’s independence
However, as the years progress and we near the 2020s, more and more in depth studies and outlooks on parenting styles have risen for the modern parents. Take a look at the eight most popular ones out there.
According to Attachment Parenting International, “Attachment Parenting is the application of sensitive responsive parenting. This style of parenting encourages responsiveness to children’s emotional needs, enabling children to develop trust that their needs will be met. As a result, this strong attachment helps children develop the capacity for secure, empathic, peaceful, and enduring relationships that follow them into adulthood.”
Attachment parenting uses gentle discipline and nurturing touch, and is viewed as a natural parenting style. This parenting style was inspired by indigenous people, as it is said that this was how they raised their children. Some key practices of attachment parenting are breastfeeding, babywearing, and co-sleeping. This style also uses discipline that is respectful, empathetic, and loving.
Dolphin parenting focuses on balance. It involves connection, communication, and collaboration with children. A modern take on authoritative parenting, parents who parent the dolphin way guide their children while young, and slowly wean them from instructions, giving them autonomy as they get older. Parents who take on this style of parenting approach discipline with collaborative discussions on rules and consequences.
Elephant parenting focuses on nurturing, supporting, protecting, and caring for your child, especially during their early years. Elephant parents let their kids be kids without any pressure or expectations. Parents who use this style don’t scold or do time outs, or let them do things on their own such as wearing their own shoes. They believe that children will change over time and that there is a time for certain skills, thus their child’s pace is to be respected.
This parenting styles involves making decisions for the children, solving problems for them, and practically clearing out obstacles their children might face. In their desire to ensure the success of their children, they make sure challenges are already taken care of.
Slow parenting encourages simplicity, balance, and mindfulness. It promotes creativity, spending more time outside, exploring nature, making time for family and friends, and having the freedom to go after your interests. It drives away from over scheduling of activities, and focuses more on being present in more important matters in life such as family.
A tough-love approach that focuses on achievements, performance, and grades is what Tiger Parenting is. More popularly known in Asian culture, this approach focuses on instilling competitiveness and the strive for success in children. Tiger parents do this by making sure they perform well at all times and punishing, sometimes shaming, if they don’t. Believers of this method say that the punishments will make them stronger and more determined to be successful.
French children are said to have manners, are sleep-trained, and don’t need to be bribed to eat their vegetables–which is why this style is becoming a popular trend. French parenting, according to an article in Reader’s Digest, involves an approach that treats kids as adults-in-training. They are allowed to do things that may be considered difficult for their age as long as they show interest.
In this style, adult time is also highly respected. Parents move about according to their own schedules, without letting themselves be taken over by their children’s schedules. Evenings are also a time for adults, meaning sleep training kids is actually the norm. They also serve vegetables as the first part of every meal, and only allow an afternoon snack for their children.
This approach gears towards relying on experts to do the job of raising your children, and probably everything else in the household. Be it a nanny, a tutor, a professional organizer, a cook, etc., those who adhere to this parenting style make sure that everything is in order with the help of other people.
Who knew that parenting styles could be this broad, right? While some styles may be easy to dismiss and the others worth giving a try (or if you’re like me, you’ve probably found yourself using a couple or more styles already), the bottom line is: There really is no perfect “style” or formula to parenting. In the same way that children differ from each other, parents also differ and we all have beliefs that we want to follow. As long as you try your best, then your style of parenting–no matter what it is–is enough.