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What’s Your Parenting Style?

December 2, 2014

By Nikki Cecala

What's Your Parenting Style? | A mom and her daughter smile for the camera as they work on homework together.

I admit, when I heard a fellow parent at the park refer to another mother as a “helicopter parent,” I really thought that was her profession. Being a newbie mom (19 months and counting!), I had no idea there were defined parenting styles or types. I really only knew of two: you were either strict or not. Now I’ve not only had the pleasure of learning about the various types of parenting, but I’ve also seen some of them in action. Look at the list below: what is your parenting style?

Instinctive/Intuition Parenting
Your parenting style falls into this category if you teach what you know. You parent the way you were parented.

Attachment Parenting
Do you believe in co-sleeping and avoiding punishment? Do you prefer homeschooling? If so, you might fall into this category. Parents with this style strive to respond to their child’s every need in an insightful and sensitive manner.

Helicopter/Smothering Parenting
This style of parenting can be easy to fall into if you are a new parent (I had my moments of smothering), but helicopter parenting is an extreme form of parenting. Like a helicopter hovering over a landing, these parents tend to hover around their children, preventing them from learning on their own and instead trying do tasks for them. It’s not necessarily a bad parenting style, but too much hovering can be overbearing for the child.

Authoritative Parenting
If you are more assertive with your discipline and rules around the household, you might fall under this category. Authoritative parents set many rules and expect their children to obey them in or outside of the household.

Permissive/Lenient Parenting
This category is for the more laid back, nontraditional parents. This style is another that you might fall into easily without realizing it, usually when the child begins his or her teen years. These parents avoid confrontation and generally would rather be the child’s friend than act as an assertive parent.

Uninvolved/Neglectful Parenting
Sadly, this type of parenting does exist. You might fall into this category if you avoid nurturing your child and are too busy in your own life to provide the core needs* for your child. These parents usually only give their child the basic needs of food and shelter for survival.

Establishing a Discipline Strategy
Of course, many parents do not just fit into one category. You don’t have to read about these styles and choose one to follow. Based on the situation, age of the child, and your beliefs, you may alter your discipline strategies or authoritative tone throughout the child’s life. The most important thing you can do for your family is to decide what is healthy and what works best.

Is your parenting style similar to any of these? Have you altered your parenting style over the years? Let me know in the comments below.

*A child’s four core needs for success in school and in life are: social well-being, emotional well-being, academic, and physical. For easy activities you can do with your child to address these needs, see the article 8 Parent Engagement Activities.

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