different parenting styles
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Different Parenting Styles: Which Option Is Best When Raising Your Kid?

This list of popular parenting styles was taken from my book The New Dad Dictionary. These are the most popular parenting styles, meaning, the most widely-adopted in the world today.

This list of popular parenting styles is a section from my book The New Dad Dictionary. These are the most popular parenting styles, meaning, the most widely adopted in the world today.

Parents don’t choose a parenting style.

Sure, they could browse and read up on popular parenting styles like the entries below, but in the end, a parent ends up raising their child the best way they know how or in styles similar to their upbringing (or a modified version).

There are also several other factors that come into play like the needs of a child, the health of a child, unfortunate and tragic circumstances, and a host of other planned and unplanned situations.

A parent could read the best parenting websites, ask the advice of professionals or other parents or flip a coin to choose a parenting style they want to adopt but in the end, it’s all about gut feelings and circumstance.

Different Parenting Styles To Consider


Parenting Style #1: Authoritarian Parenting

DEFINITION: Authoritarian parenting is a disciplinary parenting style in which a mother and father demand children follow explicit instructions and expect kids to have the utmost respect for their work and effort.

Also known as a Tiger Mom approach (taken from the controversial but popular book), an authoritarian parent is extremely strict and controlling and often uses punishment as the primary form of discipline (no cooling-off periods here).

DADFINITION: Authoritarian parenting is a softer way to say dictatorship. Authoritarian parents are often the offspring of other authoritarian parents and don’t know any other form of parenting.

The children who often rebel do so with dire consequences, but that doesn’t stop this parenting philosophy from surviving generation after generation.

It’s a personal choice of parenting style, and those parents who practice it have to live with the outcome and possible consequences.

Parenting Style #2: Attachment Parenting


DEFINITION: Attachment parenting refers to a style of responsive parenting that intends to create a secure attachment between a child and parent that leads to a more independent child.

This popular parenting style uses the developmental psychology principles of attachment theory.

DADFINITION: Attachment parenting is a demanding parenting style that can cause even the most patient parents to throw up their hands.

It calls for mom and dad to take on a ton of responsibility for the kids without allowing for a support network of friends, family, or just a babysitter to come over and watch the little turds so mom and dad can have a life.

Parenting Style #3: Authoritative Parenting

DEFINITION: Authoritative parenting is a democratic, kid-centric way to raise a child.

Parents expect their children to achieve but are willing to give the emotional support the child needs on the path to success.

Authoritative parents take a moderate approach toward raising children and set high standards for kids while also respecting their individuality enough to allow them to question and rationalize rules, rewards, and punishments.

DADFINITION: Authoritative parenting is a middle-of-the-road parenting style that every mother and father hopes to adopt.

Parents want to believe they approach parenting with a democratic philosophy but try as they may, most parents tend to lean either towards authoritarian or permissive parenting.

Parenting Style #4: Co-parenting

DEFINITION: Co-parenting describes any parenting situation where the mother and father are not married, living together, or in a romantic relationship with each other.

Adults who chose to co-parent feel that their children should have stability and an equal relationship and equal access to both parents.

DADFINITION: Co-parenting is a situation where mom and dad pretend to like each other for the sake of the children. Co-parenting is a healthier option compared to every other weekend parenting style popular in previous decades.

With co-parenting, there’s no verbally bashing the opposite parent or futilely attempting to become the favorite parent when you have the kid over Christmas break.

Parenting Style #5: Free-Range Parenting

DEFINITION: Free-range parenting is a popular parenting style in which children are encouraged to slow down and explore the world and surroundings at a natural pace.

Instead of racing from one planned activity to the next.

Parents who practice this style seldom organize activities for their children, instead allowed them to follow their interests and connect with their interests and family members.

DADFINITION: Slow parenting is an attempt to raise children like it’s 1940. ?Much like the other parenting styles, there are positives and negatives to the slow-parenting method.

The slow-parenting style encourages creativity and free play and doesn’t rely on TV or handheld electronics to entertain a bored kid.

The negative is the fact that a free-range kid moves at a slightly slower pace in a world that crushes people who don’t adapt to a moving every minute mentality.

Parenting Option #6: Helicopter Parenting

DEFINITION: Helicopter parenting is a parenting style where parents hover over their children. These parents are incredibly focused on, and involved in, a kid’s life.

Parents who practice helicopter parenting tend to be anxious about what would happen to their excluded children.

Helicopter Parents tend to be especially over-involved in their children’s educational lives.

DADFINITION: Helicopter parenting is overparenting to the point of smothering.

Hovering above your kid like a news chopper over a high-speed chase doesn’t prevent the kids eventual crash and foot chase through a residential neighborhood.

The feeling of always being under surveillance is incredibly prohibitive to the development of a young child.

Parenting Option #7: Lenient Parenting

DEFINITION: Permissive parenting, also known as indulgent parenting, is a lax parenting style where parents supply few and inconsistent rules and don’t often discipline the child for misbehaving.

These parents are typically very loving and nurturing, but they tend to avoid confrontation with their children. Often, parents who practice permissive parenting use bribery to get their children to practice appropriate behavior.

DADFINITION: Permissive parenting is a parenting style where parents act more like a kid’s friend than an authority figure.

Parenting Option #8: Snowplow Parenting

DEFINITION: In the same way a snowplow pushes snow, snowplow parents try to muscle obstacles out of their kid’s path.

The barriers can be anything. From schoolwork to uncooperative teachers and coaches and even other kids.

Whatever the perceived obstacle, it will be plowed away in an attempt to ensure their children doesn’t fail.

DADFINITION: Snowplow parents are like another tool used to remove snow from a specific area. Heres another hint – both blow very hard. It is fitting that parents who’ll do anything to remove obstacles from their kid’s path are called snowplow parents.

Envision the typical snowplow and all of the other work it creates to remove a pile of snow.

Sure, the snow moved from one spot, but the plow pushes the snow into other areas where it just has to be moved again.

For even more about popular parenting styles, check out The New Dad Dictionary.


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