Back in the day, about one generation ago, there were only four styles of parents: authoritative, permissive, authoritarian and uninvolved. While these parenting styles are still used to described one’s way of using their parenting skills, experts and authors have taken them one step further and used them to clearly define the following parenting stereotypes. Check them out and see if you see yourself in any of them.
Much like the name suggests, attachment parenting is defined by parents and children forming an attachment, a strong emotional bond, with each other. People who fit into this stereotype believe a secure, trusting attachment to parents during childhood forms the basis for secure relationships and independence as adults.
It is a very smothering type of parenting with a permissive aura. It also does not take into account the entire family dynamic. Mostly, it’s what mom says goes and mom makes most of the decisions based on the kid’s ‘needs’. This can lead to entitled kids who never want to leave home. A parent’s worst nightmare.
Parenting Stereotype #2: Helicopter Parenting
Helicopter parenting was first coined in a parenting teens book when teenagers were asked to define overprotective parents. It means being involved in a child’s life in a way that is over controlling and over perfecting in a way that is in excess of responsible parenting. Of course, to teenagers, most parents fall into this definition. But, most helicopter parents didn’t start off that way. A parent starts off helping the child, trying to protect them, and it goes to an extreme of controlling the situation.
The problem is children need to learn how to handle their own situations, you cannot be everywhere for them. Parents who do not realize this by the time their kids hit high school are in for a rude awakening when their kids are the ones pushing them away.
Parenting Stereotype #3: Outsource Parenting
In today’s modern busy world, parents aren’t always available to do it all with their child. Important milestones like toddlers learning to share and babies taking their first steps are being done in daycare and learning centers. And parents are hiring pros to come in and do the hard stuff, like potty training or baby proofing, so they can spend their valuable time doing fun things with their kids.
The modern family has to find ways to get it all done, and Outsource Parenting seems to be one answer for many parents. While it may not be ideal, it is valuable for those couples who both have a career that they are unable to leave to rear children or if income is a concern and both parents need to work. But it does go to the extreme, with some parents paying people to teach their children simple etiquette like saying “Thank you.” I’m with the ‘all things in moderation’ crowd on this stereotype.
Parenting Stereotype #4: Snowplough Parent
A snow plow parent tries to clear the way for their children so they do not stumble and fall on obstacles that stand in their way. They see their child coming up to a struggle, so they over-protect and take care of the struggle before their child has to face it. Parenting in this way leads to children who do not know how to fail and pick themselves up to try again. It also keeps children from learning what true accomplishment is and how to work towards a goal.
Parenting Stereotype #5:Tiger Parenting
The stereotype of tiger parenting comes from the book published in 2011, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” by Amy Chua, and describes how Chinese mothers bring up their children in an academically strict environment. Children simply are not allowed to fail or even get a ‘B’ on their report card. Any grade lower than an ‘A’ is considered a ‘Chinese F’. They are not allowed to join social groups or play sports. Chinese mothers create their children’s goals and strictly keep them on the path to those goals without wavering.
This type of parenting scares many American parents, as well it should. Being a Tiger Parent may lead to a child that becomes a concert pianist. But, he will be a concert pianist that never calls his mother for advice – or anything else.
Note if you do not see yourself in these stereotypes:
Not all parents fit into one of these, but there are bound to be more experts coming up with the next stereotype soon. Maybe that will be the one most like you?