What's Your Parenting Style?
Find out which parenting strategy label fits you best.
While watching Chronicle last Tuesday night, the segment, “What Kind of Parent Are You?” really sparked my interest. So I decided to write this column on what I learned, observed and took notes on from this segment.
They started this piece off by asking, “What’s the best way to raise a child? How you raise your kid says a lot about you, but first you have to pick your label.”
There used to be 3 parenting strategy categories: Authoritarian, which is too hard; Permissive, which is too soft and Authoritative, which is just right. But nowadays, there are many different parenting categories.
According to parenting expert Stacy DeBroff, some of those categories are Helicopter Moms, Best Friend Moms, Invisible Fence Moms, Co-Dependent Moms, Extreme Parenting Moms and the list goes on.
DeBroff describes herself as an Invisible Fence Mom. She says, "You want to think about keeping your kids in play, but they think they are free, they think there are no rules even though there are thousands of rules and when they bump up against that invisible fence, you gently put them back into play and they feel the sense of exploration and independence on their own."
The Helicopter Mom is just what it sounds like, a hovering, overprotective Mom. DeBroff says that Helicopter Moms are now becoming undercover volunteer spies. They volunteer to be in the classroom or help on a sports team, when really they are spying on what is happening in that environment.
The Best Friend Mom is a Mom who finds it hard to set rules and stick to them.
DeBroff says the best parent is a mix of everything. Be overprotective when necessary, know when and how to be a best friend and even Tiger Mom when needed.
The Tiger Mom. I had no idea what a Tiger Mom was before I saw this clip.
Yale Law School Professor and Author, Amy Chua, has written a very controversial book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”. I have not personally read the book yet but honestly after hearing about it on Chronicle, even though I am not in agreement with what I am about to share with you, I do want to read it.
During the segment, they shared what is on the back cover of “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” by Amy Chua and here is what you will find:
“A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents produce so many math wizards and music prodigies. Well I can tell them because I've done it. Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:
- attend a sleepover
- have a playdate
- be in a school play
- complain about not being in a school play
- watch TV or play computer games
- choose their own extracurricular activities
- get any grade less than an A
- not be the #1student in every subject except gym and drama
- play any instrument other than the piano or violin
- not play the piano or violin”
My first thought after reading that for the first time was, “Oh my God!” and my heart just ached for those girls. I cannot imagine not being able to be a “kid” during your adolescent years. And yet, I really want to read the book now because it has my curiosity.
Next up was Early Childhood Educator, Erika Christakis. Christakis describes herself as a Dolphin Mom. She says, “Their tough, they have big teeth and they have big tails but none the less, they have this sort of playful and flexible parenting style.”
So, did any of those parenting categories sound familiar to you? Have you found your style? Or perhaps you have found a different style that you would like to try out.
Being a parent, you know how many hats we wear. If those hats were visible, we would need an entire stock room to hold them all. Whatever parenting style you are, wear your hat proud and just tell yourself that you’re doing the very best that you can for your child(ren).