The next time you pick up your child from school or extra-curricular activities, take a moment to look around. What do you see? What are the children doing? What are the parents doing?
When you stop and take in the scene around you, you’ll probably notice a few things:
- Some children ignoring their parents for fear of having to go home and miss out on the fun.
- Other children running into their parents’ arms at first sight to relieve their separation anxiety.
- Children begging before their parents, pleading for one thing or another.
The chorus of children’s voices and their interactions with parents and guardians is hard to miss, but what about the parents, how do they respond? No doubt, you’ll also witness a myriad of parent behaviour as you drive up to the school pick-up line, walk toward the soccer field, or enter the doors of the after-school tutoring centre.
No two parents are the same, all are unique. Yet, we tend to have a few things in common which unite us. There are many different parenting styles – some you may agree with and others, not. However, as parents, we each have habits that resemble one parenting style or another.
Keep reading to see which parenting style resonates with you most. You might even recognise a few styles you’ve encountered in the past!
1. The Helicopter Parent
“Give me your friend’s mum’s phone number, and her dad’s. Their next-door neighbour’s number would be good too…”
Like a helicopter, they hover. Another name for this parenting style could be ‘The Shadow Parent’ – they follow their child around like a shadow and need to know every detail of their child’s day. It’s not enough to know their child is with a trusted person, they need every moment recorded as if it’s an alibi.
2. The Free Range Parent
“But did you die?”
They’re care-free in their parenting, a stark contrast to The Helicopter Parent. You’re almost shocked at the minimal number of questions they ask each time you invite their child to an event. It’s not that they don’t care about their children, they’re just not worriers.
3. The Vicarious Parent
“I just want you to have everything I didn’t have as a child.”
Their child is involved in almost every extra-curricular activity under the sun. Why? Because this parent didn’t get the opportunity to participate in these activities as a child. So, their solution is to experience it vicariously through their child.
4. The Aspirational Parent
“Colour inside the lines if you want to get into a good university.”
The parent who always wants more for their child. They’re future focused, constantly dreaming future aspirations on behalf of their child. They’re often the parents with the most studious children, receiving all forms of coaching to ensure they reach their full potential.
5. The Super-Hero Parent
“I’ve got a busy week at work and your dance costume to sew, but of course I have time to volunteer at your sports carnival.”
We envy them. The ones who make parenting look like a walk in the park. Their calendars are full and yet they still manage to home-cook every meal, keep the house clean, help their child with school assignments, volunteer at school events and go to work each day. How do they do it?
6. The Social Influencer Parent
“Stay clean, we haven’t taken a photo of your outfit yet.”
Always with a phone camera pointed at their children, they need to capture every moment. Every achievement, family bonding session, cute or laughable moment – caught on camera for their social followers to see. As a parent, it’s hard not to be proud of your child but these parents make it known more than any other!
Though it’s enjoyable to read through the various parenting styles and scenarios, no style is right or wrong. Your parenting style is often a reflection of several factors, including your personality and upbringing. What matters is creating an environment for your child to thrive.